Canadian screen industry wants code of conduct to deal with sexual harassment
Some say sexual misconduct has long been a reality in country's film scene
Groups representing actors, directors and others in Canada's film and television industry say a code of conduct will be one of several steps toward tackling sexual harassment in the industry.
More than a dozen organizations convened a closed-door meeting on Thursday in Toronto to discuss what can be done to curb the problem.
They issued a statement that says a code of conduct would clearly define what is inappropriate behaviour as well as what the consequences would be for those who commit such actions.
The groups also agreed to create more effective ways to report such behaviour without fear of retribution.
The recent allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and other prominent celebrities has shone a light on harassment in the industry.
Some say sexual misconduct has long been a reality in Canada's film scene, and they contend it's a problem that appears to be growing.
Actress Mia Kirshner wrote a blistering opinion piece last month in the Globe and Mail, blasting the "disease in [the] industry... of turning a blind eye to sexual harassment and abuse carried out by those who wield power in the film industry."
Kirshner has been critical of how performers unions like ACTRA and the Screen Actors Guild have handled the issue.
"Too little, too late. I don't believe that ACTRA is actually interested listening to union members," Kirshner tweeted in the lead up to the meeting, referring to the acronym for Canada's performers' union.
1. Too little, too late. I don't believe that ACTRA is actually interested listening to union members.—@msmiakirshner
"I believe that this committee is being created for the purpose of public relations."
Kirshner also posted that she declined to be a part of a new committee created by ACTRA to deal with the issue and instead has co-created a group called #AfterMeToo to push for change. Her group will hold a two-day symposium in Toronto on Dec. 5 and 6.
This is the start of something very powerful. <a href="https://t.co/6uE0IODgl2">https://t.co/6uE0IODgl2</a>—@msmiakirshner
Others were more hopeful.
"I've never seen a coming together like this before, and it's inspiring to see," said Kendrie Upton, executive director of the Director's Guild of Canada, B.C., of the meeting.
"The conversation in the room was alive and exciting and, you know, I think there's a lot of work to be done, we want to do it right the first time."
With files from CBC News