Author Topic: Tall order  (Read 365 times)

TheDrake

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Tall order
« on: January 25, 2018, 11:13:42 AM »
From the Producer's Guild guidelines on sexual harassment:

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Unwelcome verbal, physical or visual conduct that is severe or pervasive, and which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment or interferes with work performance. You may experience such sexual harassment even if the offensive conduct was not directed towards you.

Examples: Making sexually explicit or derogatory comments or jokes, either out loud or via email; inappropriate touching or groping; visual conduct includes making sexually suggestive gestures or publicly displaying sexually suggestive or explicit images.

So.... does that include the script? :D

Fenring

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Re: Tall order
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2018, 11:46:12 AM »
I foresee one problem with this system, which is that directors often have to resort to peculiar methods to get their actors in the head space they need to be for shooting a scene. So let's say an actress is playing a prostitute, and normally a particular director would help her get into character by shouting "slut" at her, or who knows what. Technically they're working and so this is meant to be productive (rather than a personal fantasy of the director) but on the other hand it's not a scene on camera and it a workplace interaction between director and actress, so the line could perhaps become blurred. I've heard plenty of stories of directors who had to get their actors in gear by alternatively playing mind games with them, scaring them, or otherwise getting into their heads in order to get them in shape for the job. This may sound bad to an outsider but in a strict sense actors are signing up to get into an imaginary circumstance and there's no 'one method' for how to get oneself there; often the actor needs help. Sometimes this results in very rewarding work where all parties involved really stick their necks out there to try to push the edge of great work, while at other times the performers come back with a negative experience, like Shelley Duvall did after the Shining, after what Kubrick put everyone through on set. Is that 'abuse'? Or is it a particular artistic work method and if you don't like it you can work with someone less rough around the edges?

I agree fully with putting the brakes on all of this sexual B.S. in Hollywood, and most importantly the culture of silence must come to an end where people cover for each other for personal gain. But I hope things don't swing the other way and devolve into a tattle-tail culture like we see in schools where people will complain about uncomfortable - but professional - treatment and try to get their co-workers in trouble because of it. An example that we've now seen in the public school system for years is the trend of students being told to follow the rules, or to do their work, and then they complain on the hardass teacher and the administration backs up the complaining parents, which results in teachers feeling like they can't do their jobs if it in any way makes the kids upset. And note that by 'upset' this includes all the various things that ought to make kids upset, such as telling them 'no' and requiring them to meet a standard.

I can imagine the future of a film set, where an actress is unable to achieve the scene and isn't in the reality properly, and the director takes steps to get them there and is then told "Hey, you can't talk to her like that!" At this point the entire project would be in jeopardy, as 'making nice' would be the new version of 'don't sexually harass women'.

TheDeamon

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Re: Tall order
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2018, 01:04:05 PM »
From the Producer's Guild guidelines on sexual harassment:

Quote
Unwelcome verbal, physical or visual conduct that is severe or pervasive, and which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment or interferes with work performance. You may experience such sexual harassment even if the offensive conduct was not directed towards you.

Examples: Making sexually explicit or derogatory comments or jokes, either out loud or via email; inappropriate touching or groping; visual conduct includes making sexually suggestive gestures or publicly displaying sexually suggestive or explicit images.

So.... does that include the script? :D

Oh it gets better than that. Who decides what is "sexually suggestive" after all? Is this like pornography where "I'll know it when I see it!" Type things?

A Wal-Mart ad selling women's underwear can be "sexually suggestive" to grown men and adolescent boys alike. Does this mean that reading the local newpaper and happening to have a women's underwear advertisement on the backpage of the section you're looking at is sexual harassment? (of either gender?)

Which isn't even getting into differing cultural norms, after all there are cultures/societies where the sight of women's hair is considered to be highly erotic.

So can a male from one of those areas claim to be the victim of sexual harassment when a woman walks around with a head of hair that is not covered by something?

Likewise, can a woman from said society claim to be the victim of sexual harassment when other women walk around without covering their hair?

On a less abstract and more practical level, can "sexually explicit or derogatory comments" include a photographer observing that a particular pose makes a model or actress's breasts "seem deformed" or other comparable phraseology now going to have to worry about being ruined professionally for making "derogatory comments" about that woman's breasts?

scifibum

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Re: Tall order
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2018, 06:13:02 PM »
You know, in the wake of Weinstein, it seems a bit silly to worry about such puritanical extremes.  We're not on that side of the spectrum.

TheDrake

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Re: Tall order
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2018, 08:49:04 AM »
It is silly to worry about it. And yet those are the guidelines.

A common sense set of guidelines would go more like this:

Do not under any circumstances show your genitals to any member of the cast or crew, unless it is part of an active shot or rehearsal, except incidentally in a common restroom. This includes time offsite.

Never use the following words in casual conversation: (can't print them here, but you get the idea)

If anyone says "stop" to a physical interaction including but not limited to foot massages, back rubs, hugs, or kisses, immediately apologize and never touch that person again.

Private meetings should be conducted in a professional setting, not in a private hotel room. Hotels have conference rooms for business meetings. Meetings should not involve bathing, pornographic materials, or other activities not directly germane to the content of the meeting.

The Weinstein-style abuses are so egregious, they should focus on that, not some boilerplate about telling dirty jokes.

They could also build into the various guilds consequences for various actions. Such as having your SAG membership suspended. Of course, unions aren't traditionally very good at holding their members accountable, but that would send a clear message. Too bad:

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In 2009, before its merger with AFTRA, the Screen Actors Guild suspended the membership of actor Seymour Cassel for two years after the board of directors found that he’d engaged in “conduct unbecoming a member” for the “sexual harassment” of three of the union’s female staffers at a guild town hall meeting.

In those days, Article XIV of the SAG constitution, which governed the discipline of members, allowed the board to suspend or expel members who engaged in the “sexual harassment” of members or staffers on the grounds that it was “conduct unbecoming a member.” After the merger in 2012, however, the constitution was changed: It no longer contains the words “sexual harassment” or “conduct unbecoming a member.”