Performers’ union ACTRA Toronto releases best practices list for productions

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TORONTO — The Toronto chapter of Canada’s performers’ union has released a document of best practices for scenes involving nudity, intimacy, simulated sex and sexual violence.

ACTRA Toronto says the document was developed through consultations with its members and industry partners in an effort to combat harassment and drive cultural change in the entertainment world.

It includes advice and checklists for members to consult in situations starting from pre-production through to post-production, including auditions, wardrobe fittings, contracting and closed-set protocols.

The document is for performers, intimacy co-ordinators, agents, casting directors and production companies.

ACTRA Toronto president Theresa Tova says in a statement that it’s a “living document,” meaning it can be edited and updated.

She hopes it will foster “important conversations, understanding and action among performers and industry partners alike to ensure all workplace interactions are respectful and consent-based.”

The document is one of several measures ACTRA has taken since the #MeToo movement gained traction in 2017 in the wake of allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein, who was convicted last month on rape and sexual assault charges.

Those efforts include co-launching a helpline and spearheading the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct to Prevent and Respond to Harassment, Discrimination, Bullying and Violence.

It has also worked with its members and Victoria Shen, the ACTRA Toronto special adviser on human rights and sexual harassment, to update policies, procedures, bylaws and training.