British Columbia

Actors union says performers could lose work if they report harassment

Sue Brouse, Director of Human Resources for ACTRA, says the culture of fear about reporting harassment in the film industry needs to change. However, she admits it's possible that those who come forward may be out of a job.

'There are times when somebody may not get work again,' says Sue Brouse

Multiple women have accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault. (Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images )

In the wake of revelations about film executive Harvey Weinstein, the union that represents Canadian performers has weighed in on the issue of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry. 

"I think the problem with this is a fear of reporting," said Sue Brouse, director of human resources for the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists, during an interview with On the Coast's Michelle Eliot.

On Saturday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expelled Weinstein from its membership following allegations that he sexually harassed and assaulted numerous actresses over decades.

On Friday, Brouse said the union is there to support and guide members who come forward with health and safety issues.

She explained that the B.C. branch of ACTRA has a health and safety performer advocate who can provide direction and resources for reporting harassment.

However, she admitted performers are under threat of losing roles if they come forward. "They have a role and that role can suddenly diminish, and it can be for creative reasons."

She said the union had recently reached a resolution on behalf of a member who had made a complaint and then had a change of employment as a result. She said the union assisted the member in a two-year arbitration process to get the individual a satisfactory resolution.

Brouse said every case is different and people could lose their jobs for reporting harassment.

"There are times when somebody may not get work again."

She said the union is planning to meet Monday to discuss solutions to the reporting process and to educate members on how the union can assist them.

Listen to the full interview:

With files from On The Coast