SAG-AFTRA said today that Harvey Weinstein’s abusive behavior towards women “is more prevalent than our industry acknowledges,” and that many similar cases go unreported because victims “are afraid to tell anyone.”
The union is the latest to weigh in on the scandal that has engulfed Weinstein, after a bombshell expose in the New York Times on Thursday alleged decades of sexual harassment by the Oscar-winning producer and co-founder of The Weinstein Company, with several actresses going on the record to detail incidents. After a weekend of board meetings (and board defections), Weinstein was fired Sunday as more women have stepped forward.
SAG-AFTRA called Weinstein’s behavior “abhorrent and unacceptable,” and commended “the courage and candor of every woman who has spoken out about the disgraceful, aggressive and inappropriate behavior they experienced.”
“Everyone has the right to work in an environment free of discrimination and harassment,” the union said in a statement. “We believe that each of us has a fundamental right to be safe in our person and to be treated with dignity and respect at work. There is more to be done by all of us to ensure the safety of women in the industry.”
The 160,000-member union urged members to report harassment and inappropriate or aggressive behavior to its safety hotline. “If you are being coerced or threatened or simply feel that a situation is not right or is uncomfortable – speak out. We hear you. Call 844-Safer Set any time day or night and a dedicated SAG-AFTRA rep will be notified and will help address your concerns. We all have the absolute right to be safe at work.”