Performer and educator Ksenia Thurgood has written an open letter to the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association about revisiting their policies on sexual harassment in an artist’s workplace. I am sharing it here to help in increasing awareness and to encourage you to also share the letter and to share your stories. Everyone must feel safe.
I am writing you because I have recently learned of the CAEA’s policies on reporting sexual misconducts and I want to open up a dialogue.First off, reporting 1 year after that particular contract ends where the incident(s) occurred is a shallow time frame. Often, it takes survivors over a year to move from the raw trauma phase of an assault let alone be able to think about reporting it.Secondly, reporting to the ‘person in charge’ is difficult as what happens when the perpetrator is the artistic director or on the board of directors? It’s difficult enough to admit what happened, come forward and then facing the individual who acted inappropriately/abusively who controls the outcome of your job/future jobs.Thirdly, currently, the CAEA western office admitted to having no one trained in dealing with these types of cases. What is available to members as support?Right now, members talk privately to warn one another, but new artists are not so lucky. In order to protect future generations of Canadian artists, these polices must change so perpetrators can be held accountable. What can I do as a member to see this change come into fruition?
Warm Regards,Ksenia Thurgood