“My industry, filled with vital talent, shares my desire for overhauling the current system.” Mia Kirshner, on her hopes for changing the film industry.
As more and more voices speak out about their experiences of sexual violence and harassment, we’re glad to be supporting and working with members of the Canadian film and television industry in a two-day symposium to find solutions and a way forward on December 5th and 6th in Toronto.
#AfterMeToo Preliminary Recommendations
Following the #AfterMeToo roundtable discussions, we were pleased to release these initial recommendations with the #AfterMeToo team at the Globe and Mail’s public townhall on December 6th. In the new year, a fuller report as well as the digital content from the roundtables will be released.
Expert and survivor voices called for the following:
Transforming the Industry Culture
A unified industry-wide response to sexualized violence. Harmonizing policies of existing unions, protocols to trigger complementary mechanisms of reporting, case-tracking, investigation and blacklisting prevention. This may include amending Canadian labour laws.
Expand the definition of workplace. It is about people not places. Include any environment where there is a business relationship between individuals such as wrap parties, networking functions, promotional events. This can be done through collective agreements, harassment-prevention policies, and/or legislative measures.
We have gaps in our knowledge: we need mandatory yearly education for all industry members, including producers, directors, crew and performers on employer harassment-prevention policies, bystander intervention, how to report and industry professionalism.
Support to Survivors
All industry members must pay into a fund, like we already pay to pensions and benefits, designed to address the harms and increase accountability for survivors of sexualized violence and harassment in the industry. This could fund:
Governments must provide better universal and timely access to this medically necessary mental health supports and/or trauma-informed psychological supports for survivors of sexualized violence.
The Reporting Process
Develop online reporting systems that allow victims/survivors to report and disclose incidents of sexualized violence. This system centres the lived experience of survivors with the aim of minimizing retraumatization.
Immediate Action to Establish an Independent National Body for all industry members. No more conflicts of interest. This body would receive and investigate reports of sexualized violence. Where a formal report is filed, the body would conduct independent, expert investigations and have the power to resolve by measures that include compensatory, systemic and punitive measures.