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Sexual harassment is a problem in Hollywood writers' rooms


According to the Writers Guild of America West, union members continue to experience sexual harassment on the job. The unfortunate findings of a survey by the union revealed that 64 percent of female writers have suffered from sexual harassment at least one time in their work histories, and 11 percent of male writers reported the same.

As a result of the findings, the labor organization has decided to focus efforts toward the elimination of this despicable treatment of its guild members.

Ensuring the respectful treatment of writers on the job

The guild wants to ensure that writers enjoy respectful workplaces that are free of harassment, assault and bullying. The guild further supports a workplace culture in which the victims of such abuses feel empowered to safely speak up and put the abuse to a stop.

According to the Writer's Guild survey, a large percentage of writers who experienced harassment were employed in writers' rooms that work on U.S. situation comedy television shows. "We are exploring the possibility of a series of member conversations about standards for a successful writing room," the guild said in recent statements.

Unfortunately, when sexual harassment pervades the writers' room, some writers become alienated as a result of humiliating mistreatment -- the kind of which no person should ever have to endure -- and it prevents them from fully participating in their jobs. The guild says that screenwriters also experience similar harassment during professional meetings.

A misinterpretation of the "Friends" decision

In a 2006 California Supreme Court decision pertaining to the television program Friends, the Supreme Court ruled that explicit and sexual talk is not sexual harassment in the writers' room context. That said, the Writers' Guild of America West said that this ruling is "mistakenly used to justify inappropriate behaviour in the workplace." The crux of the issue is this: Crude banter may be included in writers' room talk, but this banter cannot be specifically directed at one person in the room.

Another study shows that the entertainment industry, in general, is fraught with pervasive sexual harassment. Ninety-four percent of female entertainment workers report suffering sexual harassment at work.

Put a stop to sexual harassment now

No matter who you are, and no matter where you work, you do not have to put up with sexual harassment or other types of inappropriate behavior at work. Learn about your legal rights and stop sexual harassment now.

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