No more auditions in hotels, says Hollywood actor union

LOS ANGELES - Amid a torrent of accusations of sexual misconduct, including rape, in Hollywood, the entertainment industry's biggest union demanded on Thursday (April 12) that actor auditions no longer take place in hotel rooms or residences.

The decision, called "Guideline No. 1," marks the first expansion of SAG-AFTRA's Code of Conduct published in February that aims to tackle harassment and help increase equity in the industry.

"SAG-AFTRA opposes auditions, interviews and similar professional meetings from taking place in private hotel rooms or at private residences," it said.

"We call on producers and other decision-makers with influence or control over decisions that can impact a career, to STOP holding professional meetings in these high-risk locations and find alternative, appropriate locations for professional meetings.

"Furthermore, we call on SAG-AFTRA members and their representatives to STOP agreeing to professional meetings in these high-risk locations."

In cases where a member cannot find an alternative location, the union recommends attending the meeting accompanied by a person of trust.

The guidelines come amid a massive sex scandal roiling Hollywood that first erupted with accusations against one-time major producer Harvey Weinstein in October.

Weinstein is said to have sexually harassed and abused hundreds of young actresses, models and employees since the 1990s.

Here are the actresses who've accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment, abuse

  • In part two of the New York Times' explosive expose chronicling decades of sexual harassment allegations waged against studio mogul Harvey Weinstein- several actresses went public with their stories for the first time.
  • Gwyneth Paltrow: "I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified," Paltrow said about her experience as a then 22-year-old on the set of 1996's Emma.
  • Anjelina Jolie recalled a similar incident. "I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did," Jolie said in an e-mail to the Times.
  • Italian film star Asia Argento, the 42-year-old daughter of iconic horror director Dario Argento, said Weinstein forced oral sex on her 20 years ago. She told the publication she had maintained her silence until now for fear that Weinstein would "crush" her.
  • Model Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, a former Miss Italy finalist, told the New Yorker she met Weinstein March 2015 at a reception for a show he was producing in New York. She said Weinstein "lunged at her, groping her breasts and attempting to put a hand up her skirt" at a meeting in his offices in Tribeca.
  • French actress Judith Godreche met Weinstein for breakfast at a hotel in 1996. He later invited her up to his suite to see the "view". But he later asked for a massage and pressed himself against Godreche, even pulling off her sweater.
  • Rosanna Arquette: In the early 1990s, Weinstein asked the young actress to stop by a hotel in Beverly Hills to pick up a script. She remembers telling him "I'm not that girl," after he asked her for a massage.
  • Rose McGowan: The actress reportedly reached a US$100,000 settlement with Weinstein in 1997, after an "episode in a hotel room at the Sundance Film Festival".
  • Ashley Judd: The accused Weinstein of inviting her to his hotel room, appearing in a bathrobe, offering her a massage, and asking her if she wanted to watch him take a shower.
  • Former actress and screenwriter Louisette Geiss held a news conference where she alleged that her encounter with Weinstein took place at the Sundance Film Festival in 2008. He invited her to his office for a meeting, and soon excused himself and returned naked, wearing only a bathrobe. He later asked that she watch him masturbate.
  • Mira Sorvino: The actress starred in several of Weinstein's films, told The New Yorker that he sexually harassed her and tried to pressure her into a physical relationship while they worked together.
  • British actress Romola Garai told The Guardian she felt "violated" following a meeting with Harvey Weinstein in his London hotel room when she was 18 in which he was in a bathrobe. Garai said that once she was in the room the two had a brief discussion about film but she felt "belittled" by his "abuse of power."
  • Model and actress Cara Delevingne accused Weinstein of propositioning her and attempting to kiss her after a meeting about an upcoming film. "He said to me that if I was gay or decided to be with a woman especially in public, that I'd never get the role of a straight woman or make it as an actress in Hollywood," Delevingne said in a statement.
  • French actress Lea Seydoux became the latest in a string of female Hollywood stars speaking out against Weinstein. Also subjected to his advances, she alleged "everyone" in Hollywood "knew what Harvey was up to".
  • In a revealing piece written for Variety, Heather Graham revealed that Weinstein asked her to have sex with him in exchange for being included in his movie in the early 2000s. He told Graham that he had an agreement with his wife in which he could sleep with whomever he wanted whenever he was out of town. "I walked out of the meeting feeling uneasy," Graham wrote.
  • Kate Winslet has revealed in an interview with Los Angeles times why she didn't thank the disgraced film producer in her 2009 Oscars speech. "That was deliberate. That was absolutely deliberate," Winslet said. "I remember being told. 'Make sure you thank Harvey if you win'. And I remember turning around and saying, 'No I won't. No I won't.' ... If people aren't well-behaved, why would I thank him?""
  • British actress Lysette Anthony said he had attacked her in her London home in the late '80s. Anthony said It happened after she had got to know the producer when she starred in the 1982 film Krull, according to The Telegraph.
  • Kate Beckinsale also came forward about Weinstein sexually harassing her when she was just 17 and hampering her career. She posted her statement to Instagram with a picture of her as a teenager and wrote that when she was called to meet him at the Savoy Hotel in London, Weinstein opened the door in a bathrobe. She left the room "uneasy but unscathed".
  • Actress Eva Green has said she felt "shocked and disgusted" after an encounter with Weinstein in which she allegedly had to "push him off" during a business meeting. The Bond girl gave her statement after her mother told a French radio that her daughter "was a victim of this horrible man".

In each case, there was a recurring theme of him inviting women to his hotel room to talk about work before proceeding to take off his clothes, offer them a massage or ask them to watch him masturbate - all under promises of fame or threats to ruin their careers.

Mira Sorvino, Asia Argento, Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie, Cara Delevingne and Lea Seydoux are among those who denounced Weinstein, who is now under investigation.

The claims against Weinstein triggered a watershed moment that saw revelations of widespread sexual abuse in the entertainment industry that has felled other Hollywood heavyweights. The abuse often happened in hotel rooms.

"We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting," SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement.

The union represents some 160,000 actors and other entertainment and media professionals.