Governor Signs Marc Levine Bill to Prevent Sexual Harassment in the Entertainment Industry
(Sacramento, CA) – Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday signed a bill by Assemblymember Marc Levine to combat sexual harassment and eating disorders in the entertainment industry.
The measure, by Assemblymember Levine, D-Marin County, requires talent agencies to create educational materials on sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, nutrition, and eating disorders available to its adult artists. For minors entering the entertainment industry, the bill requires that they and their parents or legal guardian receive training in these areas.
“This watershed moment is the result of a collaboration with talent agencies who are taking seriously the harassment that we’ve all known preys upon their artists,” said Assemblymember Marc Levine, D-Marin.
Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents, said “member agencies are proud to have partnered with Assemblyman Levine to pass this important legislation. AB 2338 strengthens existing laws and safeguards to foster a safe, healthy working environment for employees and artists within the entertainment industry.”
The law, which takes effect in January, also mandates that nutrition information be provided to fashion models, whose health can be compromised in the pursuit of extreme thinness.
Bryn Austin, professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, called the measure “a critical step forward for the thousands of young women and young men working in the fashion industry as models.”
“The stories of unchecked exploitation, including sexual harassment and coerced starvation as conditions of employment, have been exposed now through the tireless work of advocates and courageous models who have come forward,” said Professor Austin. “Assemblymember Levine heard their stories, and now with Governor Brown's support, the Talent Protections Act will send the message to fashion executives that California will not tolerate inaction any longer. Models have a right to safe and humane working conditions like all workers in California, and the passage of AB 2338 takes us one step closer to ensuring their basic rights."
Sara Ziff, founding director of Model Alliance, said “passage of the Talent Protections Act in California is a huge step forward for models to ensure their basic right to safe working conditions. I and other models testified in Sacramento about the unchecked exploitation we have faced in our working lives, from sexual harassment and assault to coerced starvation. This victory is a testament to the many models who have joined the Model Alliance's efforts to foster a work environment that is no longer fertile ground for abuse, combined with Assemblymember Levine's tremendous leadership in the California Assembly. Our work will continue, but this victory is one to celebrate as an important step forward."
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, 69 percent of girls from 5th-12th grade report that advertising and media influenced their view of an ideal body type and 42 percent of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner. Levine said the law may be as much help to audiences. “Young girls and boys are affected by the images they see, and this will help ensure that the images they see are of healthy people.”
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Assemblymember Marc Levine represents the 10th Assembly District, which includes Marin and Sonoma Counties