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Casting Survivors

Production companies, filmmakers, and everyone who works in the entertainment industry should pledge to build a safer, more equitable industry by giving opportunities, auditions, and interviews to survivors and Silence Breakers. This includes never retaliating against anyone for coming forward about sexual violence, and committing to hiring on-camera talent, as well as department heads, crew, producers, directors, writers, showrunners, casting directors, and more.

Here, we highlight best practices for outreach, auditioning and casting survivors, and ensuring your process is safe for survivors.

Woman at a protest holding a sign that reads 'actors against rape culture'

Create a casting call to go out to Casting Networks/LA Casting, Actors Access, etc for the project, as well as to SAG-Aftra. List all open roles and encourage self identifying survivors and Silence Breakers to apply.

Mention your partnership with Hire Survivors Hollywood. Please use your casting notices, breakdowns, websites, and social media posts to communicate directly with professional representatives, actors, producers, studios, execs, etc regarding your commitment to creating opportunities for survivors, hiring survivors, and helping to create a safer, more equitable working environment.

When putting casting notices up on Breakdown Services, indicate that agents should submit any of their clients who are self identified survivors or Silence Breakers.

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Here is a sample draft of potential language to be used for casting calls and breakdowns and/or hiring notices:

“We’ve partnered with Hire Survivors Hollywood, an initiative started by Weinstein Silence Breaker Sarah Ann Masse, which works to end retaliation against survivors of sexual violence by increasing employment opportunities for survivors and by creating a safer, more equitable entertainment industry for all.

We are actively seeking to hire survivors on our production. So, if you identify as a survivor, please feel free to mention that in your submission.

Note: we will never ask you to disclose the details of your abuse and identifying as a survivor in your submission is completely optional. We just want you to know you are welcome here.”

Create a curated list of survivors and Silence Breakers who might fit the open roles that are being cast. Reach out to the survivor’s reps, or to them directly, with an audition request or offer.

It is essential to make it known that the stakeholder’s project, company, production, etc is committed to hiring survivors and creating a safe and equitable work environment for all. At no point is it appropriate to require any self identifying survivor to disclose the details or nature of their abuse, including (but not limited to) details about who abused them, when, or how. It is essential that everyone involved is trauma informed, and respectful at every point in the hiring process.

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