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Women in Animation announces anti-harassment pledge

// Business, Featured, News


Women in Animation (WIA), in partnership with a number of independent studio owners, is working to affirm a zero-tolerance policy for workplace harassment, defined as “unwanted conduct on the grounds of race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. which has the purpose or effect of either violating the claimant’s dignity, or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for them. Harassment is against state, federal and local laws.”

The anti-harassment pledge commits to provide “safe and equitable work environments free of discrimination and harassment” and has already been signed by studio owners and counter-signed by employees of OddBot, Inc., Six Point Harness, Titmouse, Bento Box Entertainment, CounterPunch Studios, Duncan Studio, Incessant Rain Animation Studios, Renegade Animation, Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Tonko House and Wild Canary Animation.

The policy comes on the heels of last year’s open letter speaking out against workplace sexual harassment put together by over 200 women and gender nonconforming people working in the animation industry. The efforts of WIA’s board members accompany measures being taken by studio heads to eradicate such behavior.

Studio heads recognize that there is always more that can be done to educate our community and create enforceable policies that protect their employees. To extend this pledge to the entire animation industry, we will share it with all studios to encourage them to adopt it or some form of it, expanding the web of safety even further.

-Marge Dean, president of WIA

The WIA document further insists that they “will not tolerate discrimination and any form of unlawful harassment, including but not limited to sexual harassment. We understand that we all have a responsibility to ensure that each of our studios is safe for all employees and independent contractors.”

The pledge defines sexual harassment as: “harassment based on sex or of a sexual nature; gender harassment; and harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.”

The indie animation studios in Los Angeles are generally tight knit. Having come together in the past to address industry issues, we knew we could collaborate and act decisively in response to that letter. WIA is proud to be part of the kind of change that will have a lasting effect on how women and non-conforming people are treated in our business. I sincerely hope all studio owners, large and small, are aligned in these efforts.

-Brendan Burch, owner of Six Point Harness and treasurer for WIA

This pledge establishes a code of behavior for all employees and a vow from studio leaders to enforce that code. When employees move from one indie studio to another, the same pledge will be waiting for them to sign in their new workplace, promoting a consistent net of zero-tolerance that stretches across the indie animation community.

-Chris Hamilton, president of OddBot, Inc.

Complementing our longstanding commitment to foster a creative, fun and safe working environment, we’re glad to stand with our animation colleagues in supporting the WIA anti-harassment pledge.

-Shannon Prynoski, Titmouse co-founder and vice president

It’s more than just the right thing to do. We feel fortunate to be surrounded by strong, talented and brave humans who speak up even when it’s hard so that collectively we can uphold this important code of conduct.

-Chris Prynoski, Titmouse president and founder

As regards the global potential of the document WIA, whose mission is “to bring together a global community of animation professionals to empower and support women in the art, science and business of animation” say they are already receiving inquiries from international studios around the world.

For more information or to join WIA visit womeninanimation.org

 

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