IATSE Forms Anti-Harassment Committee for Low Budget Productions

Below-the-line union sets new measures to implement the Hollywood Commission’s Respect on Set program

IATSE

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees will establish a new anti-harassment subcommittee as part of its Low Budget Agreement, a move that is part of the union’s efforts to eliminate sexual harassment and discrimination on film and TV sets.

The collaboration will seek to implement the Hollywood Commission’s Respect on Set program, which offers employers who are signatories of the Low Budget Agreement, a suite of services to help producers combat harassment. The LBA covers productions with budgets of under $15 million.

“We applaud the steps taken by low budget producers who, understandably, want their sets to be free from sexual harassment and abusive conduct. This collaboration will help ensure we meet that goal through our collective effort,” said IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb. “We thank the Hollywood Commission for their leadership in this area and welcome the continued input of IATSE members and the entertainment community on how we can all best achieve our shared goals.”

Malia Arrington, executive director of the Hollywood Commission, will chair the new committee, which will also include IATSE VPs Mike Miller and Vanessa Holtgrewe, International Representatives Marisa Shipley and Jamie Fry, IATSE West Coast Associate Counsel Jacob J. White, and producers Jeanette Volturno, Monica Levinson and Bart Rosenblatt, whom are founders of the INDIE Coalition.

“As Independent Producers, we want our sets to be free from sexual
harassment and abusive conduct. The independent community doesn’t have the HR resources of the studio system, so we are thrilled to collaborate on this endeavor,” Rosenblatt, Levinson and Volturno said.  “We thank the Hollywood Commission for their leadership and assistance in this area, welcome input from IATSE workers and the community on how we can all best achieve our shared goal, and we look forward to exploring how Respect on Set can continue to assist in this area.”

The committee’s formation comes following a Hollywood Commission survey of entertainment workers that found that compared to their major-studio counterparts, workers on low budget productions experience more sexual coercion and assault and greater rates of gender and racial bias, but formally report these abuses at much lower rates largely out of a belief that reporting will do nothing to resolve the issue.

IATSE will seek to have the Hollywood Commission’s services for handling harassment and discrimination on set included as part of the next version of the Low Budget Agreement, which is set to be negotiated in 2025.

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