A hundred models have signed a letter asking for more protection and accountability regarding sexual assault and harassment that happens in fashion industry careers. The letter was published by Model Alliance, a model advocacy group. Among the models who signed the letter were Milla Jovovich, Edie Campbell, Karen Elson and Elliot Sailors.
The letter requests a legally binding contract to be signed by agencies, designers, publishers and models that will hold individuals accountable when instances of mistreatment against models occur. The contract, which will be incorporated within the RESPECT program, “will go beyond addressing specific acts of sexual harassment, and also seek to foster a work environment that is no longer fertile ground for abuse.”
The letter goes on to point out how all companies in the modeling industry state that they are against sexual harassment and seek to protect people at risk of suffering from abuse. The letter further states that the companies that are truly serious about worker protections will do more than just promise to end sexual harassment and create enforceable standards.
At this time, no companies have agreed to the letter, but the Model Alliance says that it has thus far received a positive response after discussing the RESPECT program with modeling agencies.
The most important component of the RESPECT program involves the appointment of an independent third-party that will field complaints by models relating to harassment and abuse. This will give models a way to report abuse without fear of blacklisting.
The work being done by Model Alliance certainly represents a positive step forward for models everywhere. If you believe that you have suffered from sexual harassment on the job — regardless the circumstances — you can also make a positive move toward ridding the world of sexual harassment by standing up for your employment rights.
Source: The Cut, “Models Want a Legally Binding Contract Against Sexual Harassment,” Sarah Spellings, accessed May 17, 2018