Reprinted from Deadline Hollywood by David Robb on November 13, 2017.
SAG-AFTRA has found itself in a precarious legal position in Hollywood’s ever-expanding sex abuse scandal. For while many of the victims are members of the union, so too are many of the alleged perpetrators, and the union is taking a cautious approach to make sure it’s not on the hook for legal damages.
SAG-AFTRA acknowledges that it has a role to play in protecting members from harassment and assault in the workplace, but as national executive director David White made clear in a recent email to the union’s Los Angeles local board member Cupid Hayes that has been obtained by Deadline, it also has to protect itself from “liability in any way.”
“This is one of those extremely ‘big,’ emotionally sensitive, legally complex issues that has serious legal implications for SAG-AFTRA, as well as for several of our members, who may look to us for protection as this process unfolds,” he told Hayes on Friday in the email. “Everyone is scrutinizing each word that we communicate about the union’s position.”