Canadian cinema, broadcast union vows to protect members amid Hollywood sex assault scandal

The Toronto branch of a union representing actors and producers is working to create an action plan to protect its members amid the sex assault scandal that's rocked Hollywood and other global cinema communities.

'Safe space' needed for victims, says Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists

'This is systemic,' says Theresa Tova, president of the Toronto branch of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, otherwise known as ACTRA. (CNW Group/Alliance of Canadian Cinema Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA))

Another actor — this time from Ontario — has come forward with allegations of sexual assault against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. 

And now, a Canadian union representing actors and producers is working to create an action plan to protect its members amid the scandal that's rocked Hollywood and other global cinema communities.

"It will not be solved by any one actor, any one agent, any one union ... this needs a whole industry. This is systemic," said Theresa Tova, president of the Toronto branch of the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, otherwise known as ACTRA.

In a statement last month, Tova and the national ACTRA president, David Sparrow, stressed that "sexual discrimination and sexual harassment are very real issues in the industry."

"As industry leaders, we all have a role to play in ending the culture of silence," the statement continued.

"It's incumbent upon all of us to combat it and create a safe space for victims to speak out without fear of retribution or harassment."

Harvey Weinstein was fired from his namesake company on Oct. 8, days after accusations of sexual harassment against him ran in the New York Times. (Getty Images)

Industry meeting scheduled for Nov. 23

Speaking to CBC's Here & Now, Tova said their members across the country have said they're facing these issues in their lines of work.

She said a meeting with industry representatives is now scheduled for Nov. 23 to figure out what can be done immediately.

Tova said they also hope to determine what should be part of a long-term game plan to improve the situation for people in the industry, from actors to crew members to wardrobe staff.

"We're looking internally: Where have we failed our members?" she said.

The goal, Tova said, is to come up with solutions that can put an end to sexual assault and harassment within the industry.

Dozens have accused Weinstein of sexual harassment, assault

So far, dozens of women — including celebrities like Ashley Judd, Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow — have come forward, accusing Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.

Montreal actor Erika Rosenbaum is among them, alleging there were three separate instances nearly 15 years ago where Weinstein aggressively came on to her.

Meanwhile an Ontario actor, who can't be named, plans to launch a civil suit against Weinstein, alleging the producer sexually assaulted her roughly two decades ago.

Amid the ongoing scandal, other Hollywood heavyweights — including Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Piven — have faced accusations as well.

"The people who are being victimized by these powerful people, they should be protected," said Tova.

"I think the law has to be on our side to protect our members, not just the privacy of those who keep re-abusing."

Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

With files from Tania Mehta, Here & Now