The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has announced that its charitable arm, the Producers Guild of America Foundation 501(c)(3), has received a grant of $2 million from CBS in support of its landmark new program, the “Independent Production Safety Initiative,” which will provide free anti-sexual harassment training and legal consultation for independent film, television, and digital productions.
A joint statement from Gail Berman and Lucy Fisher, presidents of the PGA, read, “We are grateful to CBS for supporting the Producers Guild’s efforts to combat sexual harassment in our industry. In speaking to a broad cross-section of our membership, it became evident many independent producers felt strongly that their productions would greatly benefit from professional, in-person anti-sexual harassment training. However, most independent productions lack sufficient financial and institutional resources to gain access to such training. The PGA Foundation’s ‘Independent Production Safety Initiative’ is a groundbreaking new program created to answer that need by providing free training to independent productions. We believe it will make an immediate impact toward improving the professional lives of thousands of workers in our industry.”
Additionally, for any qualifying independent production which participates in the PGA Foundation program, there also will be access of up to two hours of free consultation with a legal expert versed in the field of harassment law. These hours may be used at any point as needed during the production process to address any issues or circumstances that arise.
“The inclusion of legal consultation hours is a critical element of the ‘Independent Production Safety Initiative,’” said Lori McCreary, PGA president emeritus and chair of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force. “Unique and often complicated circumstances can arise over the course of any given production, so providing access to an attorney lets producers know they will not be left on their own if incidents of harassment occur. This expert legal counsel will reinforce producers’ knowledge and authority around workplace harassment and reporting procedures.”
The PGA Foundation’s “Independent Production Safety Initiative” will use funds from its CBS grant to pay for on set, in-person, anti-sexual harassment training as well as up to two hours of legal consultation to any qualifying independent film, television, or digital production. A qualifying production will be defined as one which includes more than 20 individuals among its cast and crew, but does not have access to a company human resources or legal department. To assist productions with 20 or fewer cast and crew members, the program will provide complimentary access to group training sessions, which will be held on a quarterly basis across a variety of production centers across the U.S.
The “Independent Production Safety Initiative” program builds on the work of the PGA’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force, which was established in 2017 in response to reports of widespread misconduct in the entertainment industry. In January 2018, The PGA released its Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines, making it the first organization in the entertainment industry to provide concrete protocols to combat sexual harassment. Additional details about the PGA Foundation’s “Independent Production Safety Initiative” and its submission procedures will be available on the Producers Guild website in early 2019.