No more hotel room meetings for Screen Actors Guild members


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/04/13/no-more-hotel-room-meetings-fo.html


#2

Way to close the barn doors after the horses have gotten out SAG. I have no doubt that the powers-that-be at the SAG knew of these things for YEARS, but now that it’s public they’re “doing something about it”. Shame on them.


#3

Or a dressing room?


#4

Wait, I thought this problem was all cleaned up now, and producers are going to behave themselves?


#5

In other words, they will still set up meetings in the old locations, but now anything that happens in those locales will be the fault of the SAG members, because “they broke the rules” and shouldn’t have been there.

Ugh.


#6

It’s really weird that Hollywood is run like anything other than a white collar office.

Office dysfunction would be preferable to all of this nonsense.


#7

I had a job interview in a hotel room once, I think I am still enjoined from saying for whom. It was weird. I can imagine it being 100 times worse for a young woman with a male interviewer.

Hotel room interviews remain common for faculty position interviews in many academic fields, especially humanities fields where employers have small (therefore poor) departments.


#8

This is a reaction that any sort of social progress can be greeted with, really. Gay rights? What took you so long? Equal pay for women? About fucking time! Respect for black people, native Americans, Japanese Americans, Latino and Hispanic Americans? Took you long enough!

It’s easy for the powers that be to blow off the constant pressure as just a cost of doing business, they’re going to hear complaints no matter what happens. And their impatient, privileged white clients to grumble, “aren’t we there yet, haven’t we done enough?”.


#9

That doesn’t sound like what they’re calling for at all:

Sag-Aftra, the labor union for actors in film and television, has issued a guideline calling on producers and executives to avoid arranging meetings in hotel rooms or private residences.

In other words: “if Hollywood execs want to hire our people this is how we will expect those execs to conduct themselves.”

Setting rules to prevent exploitation of vulnerable workers is the whole point of having unions in the first place.


#10

A start, but won’t be enough:

I mean, the turnover in the Weinstein office, of staff, was legendary. And I dealt with girls in their office who were running scared. And God knows what that fear entailed, but they wouldn’t be there the next time. I know I went into the New York office to take a phone call, and there was nowhere I wanted to sit in that room. It was a room that reeked, is all I can say, of after-hours sex.

— Miranda Richardson (Katherine Rhumor in Rubicon, and Queen Elizabeth I in Blackadder II) being interviewed in the Guardian.


#11

True - interviews are often held (in humanities fields) at yearly conferences (AHA, MLA, etc.) for tenure track positions. I never understood why they didn’t just ask the hotel for an office room of some variety to do this. I know from D*Con that there are smaller, conference type rooms that can be used at larger hotels, which is possible for larger conferences like AHA.


#12

Agreed.
And.
Fixes very little.

The complaint also claims she was forced to clean up after his sexual
encounters – which allegedly took place in his office, hotels, and at an
apartment Rehal was allegedly ordered to set up near his office – on a
regular basis.


“Another ‘task’ Ms. Rehal was forced to do to aid Harvey Weinstein’s
sexual encounters was to clean up the semen on the couch in Harvey
Weinstein’s office,” the suit alleges. “This happened on a regular
basis, three or so times a week when Harvey Weinstein was in New York.”

So many failed links in the human chain.

Reboot retry restart. We can do much better than this.


#13

I once worked for a dinner theater in Tucson, AZ, whose producers would make week-long annual pilgrimages to Hollywood and New York to hold auditions for the lead roles in the season’s musicals, so that they could advertise “Hollywood stars” and “Broadway stars” in their otherwise all-local productions.

They always rented a nice suite. Holding auditions in the room made the whole thing a business-expense deduction.

This was a common thing among regional dinner theaters – the LORT-contract union houses would often hire their entire casts in these sessions – one has-been TV star for the lead, a lot of hungry up-and-comers for the smaller roles. (Our operation was strictly non-union, and hired only the leads this way. And they didn’t hire has-beens, they hired “not-yets” – hungry youngsters you’ve never heard of.)

These days, many independent film productions are based out-of-state, and do LA/NYC casting calls the same way. Holding the auditions in the room is obviously budget-friendly, and most indies have very little budget.

It may seem weird to people outside the business, but it has long been a common (and largely unremarkable) practice for out-of-towners.

(Beside, IME the real sleazeball ‘casting-couch’ producers are generally more circumspect. Way too many witnesses in a hotel.)


#14

I’m sorry, but I don’t buy it

In my life I had many job interviews, from kitchen staff for a fast food restaurant, shop assitant, research fellow for an university, starting positions in multinational companies, head of department ,… you name it. All sorts of jobs and all sorts of employers.

I had fornal interviews with HR people, with psicological tests followed by theoretical and practical exercises. Other were more informal, the owner of a small company and one of the employees going over my CV and asking me a few questions.

Usually the interviews were held in the company buildind, but sometimes they rented an office for the day in a more central location, specialy if they wantedd to interview many candidates at once.

I have NEVER been to an interview in a hotel room, an NEVER alone with the employer and NEVER outside office hours. And I don’t know anybody that has been in that situation ever. Maybe in an event room next to the lobby, but in the actual room in the 4th floor? No way

If a potential employer tells me to go to a hotel room, that would be defcon 2 and if it turns out to be the interviewer alone in that room, that would be defcon 1 and I would get out of there immediately.

I don’t know if this is common in USA or in certain professions, but if it is, it tells you something…


#15

I don’t think an interview with multiple people present would violate the spirit of the rule, I think the issue is 1:1 “interviews” (sarcastic air quotes)


#16


#17

Holding auditions in a hotel suite or a private home where multiple people involved in the production are present is obviously different in nature than arranging private one-on-one meetings in said places.


#18

You can usually rent small(ish) meeting rooms in hotels. Maybe make that nice suite a little smaller to balance the cost. Professional, neutral, convenient setting for doing business, and tax deductible as cost of doing business.


#19

Shamelessness doesn’t respond to that.


#20

When are they going to put limits on what NDAs studios are allowed to ask their members to sign as a condition of contract? Weinstein and others hid behind those for decades, yet I’ve heard nothing about limiting the scope of NDAs in Hollywood.