Heritage Minister Melanie Joly addresses the media after two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds in Toronto on January 17, 2018. A group of Canadian entertainment organizations has drafted a new collective code of conduct in response to sexual misconduct allegations flooding the industry. The groups say the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct is intended “to help prevent and respond to harassment including sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Canada’s entertainment industry drafts collective code of conduct

A group of Canadian entertainment organizations has drafted a new collective code of conduct in response to sexual misconduct allegations flooding the industry

Canadian entertainment organizations have responded to the recent flood of sexual misconduct allegations with a new collective code of conduct that is a “living document” with room for updating.

The Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, the Directors Guild of Canada, the Writers Guild of Canada, and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees are among some 25 groups that have signed on to the code, which was unveiled Thursday.

“There are obviously codes that exist within various organizations and unions and guilds, but this one is the only one in the world currently where the entire industry has stepped up and agreed to the same language,” ACTRA National president David Sparrow, who has been leading a working group for the code, said in a phone interview.

“That’s something that’s not happening south of the border currently and is happening here, so I think it speaks of the strong desire of the Canadian industry to address these issues.”

The Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct says it’s intended “to help prevent and respond to harassment including sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence.”

Related: Harvey Weinstein ‘Casting Couch’ statue debuts pre-Oscars

Through various stipulations, it stresses “zero tolerance, proportional consequences, consent-based interactions and no retaliation,” and calls on signatories to “encourage good-faith reporting and timely investigations.”

The code better defines what is the workplace and what’s considered a work-related activity, such as awards ceremonies, casting meetings and industry events. It also identifies gender equality and diversity as paths to changing behaviour.

“Harassment in the workplace is a serious problem that too many women have faced in our cultural sector and in our society,” Simon Ross, a spokesman for Heritage Minister Melanie Joly, said Thursday in a statement.

“Our artists and creative industries have proven their leadership on this issue: they have acknowledged the problem and took swift action to address it. The code of conduct presented today sets a precedent and will make a real difference to ensuring a safe work environment for all.”

Sparrow said there is no legislation that would make the code mandatory, but unions and guilds have the option to work it into their collective agreements.

Those who fail to meet the specifics or the goals of the code, or transgress it, will be held accountable by the rest of the industry.

That could be “through either … naming and shaming or through just the idea of moral suasion: ‘Hey Jimmy, you signed onto this code and now you’re transgressing them and we’re not going to be able to work with you anymore,’” Sparrow said.

Related: Oscars org adopts code of conduct after Weinstein expulsion

Other steps outlined in the code include:

— When work requires physical contact or scenes of nudity, intimacy or violence, adhere to applicable respectful workplace policies and collective agreement obligations.

— Provide safe places where work may be performed for example, by not requiring individuals to attend meetings alone or in spaces such as private hotel rooms.

— Encourage instructors, teachers, coaches and those providing training in the industry to adhere to this code and share its principles with their students.

A working group has been creating the code since Nov. 23, when the organizations also committed to creating safer reporting measures and industry-wide education and training.

“The hope is that this code will be printed up and laminated and hanging in every craft service truck and in every audition room and every union office and workplace that we can possibly get it into so that everyone within the industry sees their responsibility hanging right there on the wall and reference it,” Sparrow said.

“It’s why we went with a code that’s got bullet points and a fair amount of neutral space — so that people can read it while they make a peanut butter sandwich in the craft truck and know that they have to change their behaviour.”

About 30 different representatives of the music industry met last week in Toronto to talk about creating their own code of conduct.

Victoria Ahearn, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Snowfall adds some delay to morning commute

The QE2 and area road conditions in central Alberta were partly snow covered

Witness refuses to testify against John Savage

Preliminary hearing on Stettler man for second-degree murder halted, plea bargain made

John Savage pleads guilty to manslaughter

Sentenced to 7 years for Stettler murder

Defending champions Team Scheidegger will fight to keep title

Stettler hosting 2019 Alberta Scotties provincial women’s bonspiel

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

‘I never said there was no collusion,’ Trump lawyer says

President Donald Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani says he has ‘never said there was no collusion’

Body of Canadian miner found after African kidnapping

Kirk Woodman’s body was discovered 100 kilometres from the site where he worked for Progress Mineral Mining Company in Burkina Faso

Study finds more than half of food produced in Canada wasted

The study released Thursday is the world’s first to measure food waste using data from industry and other sources instead of estimates

Snowed-in Austrian nuns insist they’re staying put

Authorities have deployed heavy equipment to clear snow and fallen trees blocking the road to the monastery

New market opens in downtown Ponoka

Makkinga Market had a soft opening showcasing many of the different foods in store

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Most Read