Ahead of this year’s Oscars ceremony, a golden “casting couch” statue of Harvey Weinstein (by artist Plastic Jesus) surfaced near Dolby Theater where the event annually takes place. The work of art ridiculed the fallen mogul, who was depicted wearing a bathrobe, holding a statuette (next to his crotch), and waiting for someone to join him on a chaise lounge. Although many laughed at the statue, it was meant to remind everyone not to forget the pattern of predatory behavior that launched a tidal wave of sexual misconduct allegations, and a major Hollywood guild is now calling to fully end the practice of sending actresses to professional meetings in hotel rooms or residences.
In a statement, the Screen Actors Guild president, Gabrielle Carteris, presented a new mandate to this effect, which is specifically aimed at those managers and agents who have, for decades, sent their talent to meet in “high-risk locations” behind closed doors. Via Variety:
“We are committed to addressing the scenario that has allowed predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting.”
Weinstein isn’t the only Hollywood male in power who has been subject to allegations of sexual assault that occurred in hotel rooms, but he’s undoubtedly the “face” of the practice. In particular, Rose McGowan gave a vivid account of being led to Weinstein’s presidential suite at the Sundance Film Festival for a meeting that ended in an unwanted sexual encounter. She further alleged that “everyone knew” what Weinstein did, and that he had “machinery in every country” — the handlers who would bring him actresses. McGowan’s claims were startlingly similar to about 80 other alleged Weinstein victims, and SAG wants to prevent this risk from returning, ever again.