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Local actors union reacts after sex assault accusations reach Hollywood North

Last Updated Nov 12, 2017 at 10:43 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

Warner Bros. Television Group has suspended Andrew Kreisberg

Union holds meetings for female and male actors to come forward to share their experiences

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Claims of sexual harassment and inappropriate behaviour in the film industry have moved north, after Andrew Kreisberg who is producing two big-time Vancouver-filmed shows, was suspended this weekend.

Keith Martin Gordey with the Union of BC Performers says sexual harassment is just not acceptable, especially in the workplace.

“It’s predatory behaviour, it takes advantage of people who are innocent and naive, and people who think that maybe there’s a way for them to further their careers, and that probably most of the time doesn’t even happen.”

He adds it’s difficult to come forward with accusations when your career’s involved, but believes the recent wave of claims against those in the industry are giving people the courage they need.

“With this Harvey Weinstein case really exploding in the media and so forth and other people being accused of predatory behaviour, there seems to be an opportunity now for people to feel more comfortable coming forward,” he explains.

UBCP/ACTRA has held two townhalls to give victims an opportunity to share their stories. The union is hosting another meeting on Monday specifically designed for men to come forward who feel they’ve been the victim of harassment.

Gordey adds it’s important for victims to feel supported by the industry. “They realize they’re not alone. The #MeToo thing has made that clear,” says the Hollywood North insider. “If you can come forward in a group where you feel safe, share your experience, I think that’s empowering and that’s really important too.”

As the list of people accused of sexual assault and harassment grows, many have also taken to social media to voice their anger and even call for Kreisberg’s firing.

Warner Bros. Television Group has confirmed the 46-year-old producer of Supergirl and Arrow, among other shows, has been suspended after 19 former and current employees accused him of inappropriate touching and sexual harassment.

In a statement the company says it “takes all allegations of misconduct extremely seriously.”