The Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct is intended “to help prevent and respond to harassment including sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence.” (File photo by Nanaimo School District)

Canada’s entertainment industry drafts collective code of conduct

TORONTO — 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 steps outlined in the code include enacting “policies and procedures that maintain zero tolerance” for such behaviour.

It also asks signatories to “designate people in the workplace to receive complaints of harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence.”

Other steps include providing a timely process for the investigation and resolution of complaints.

More than 25 groups have signed on to the code, including the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists, the Directors Guild of Canada, and the Writers Guild of Canada.

A working group has been creating the code as well as several other measures for the past few months.

ACTRA National president David Sparrow, who has been leading the working group for the code, says some organizations from Canada’s music industry are also interested in signing on.

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

Here are some of the other steps outlined in the new code, which was unveiled Thursday:

— Implement proportional consequences for violations; and protect from retaliation or reprisal those individuals who in good faith allege violations of anti-harassment, discrimination and violence policies and procedures.

— Ensure everyone in the workplace is aware of anti-harassment, discrimination and violence policies and procedures.

— Encourage people to set and respect personal boundaries and engage in consent-based interactions.

— 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.

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