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Casting Directors’ Guild launches code of conduct to protect actors

Casting director Andy Pryor and actors David Gyasi, Mark Gatiss, Jade Anouka and Vanessa Kirby at the launch of the CDG Awards Casting director Andy Pryor and actors David Gyasi, Mark Gatiss, Jade Anouka and Vanessa Kirby at the launch of the CDG Awards. Photo: Scarlet Page
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A new code of conduct for casting directors has been released, which has been described as “more important than ever” in light of recent harassment allegations.

Membership of the Casting Directors’ Guild will be conditional upon acceptance of the code, which lays out a formal set of guidelines to ensure best practice in the profession.

The code outlines that casting directors have a “duty of care” to actors, and should discourage one-to-one meetings in non-professional environments and ensure the audition room is a “safe space”.

Actors union Equity has been consulted on the guidelines, which also include giving actors enough time to prepare for an audition, giving due consideration to talent from the community in which a production is made or set, and to “be an advocate for actors’ rights” to employers.

Casting director Victor Jenkins, who is on the CDG committee, said: “This is something the committee had been trying to get together prior to when the allegations came out, and on the back of that we really honed it down and made sure we had the wording right, we spoke to Equity to make sure they were happy with it.

“It’s about protecting actors, protecting our membership and also making sure there is a level of excellence and that having those letters CDG after your name becomes something to aspire to.”

Speaking at the launch of a new awards for casting directors, Jenkins added: “Absolutely, its more important than ever now [following recent harassment allegations], and that’s just about accountability and awareness.”

Awards launched to honour casting directors

Casting director Andy Pryor, who is on the committee for the new awards, said: “We feel it’s important not only for our members to have a structure but to send a signal to the rest of the industry about what we feel is the right way to behave, the right way to approach casting, how we feel it is important to treat people – not just the actors but also the assistants, people starting out in the industry.

“The vast majority of us do what we do because we love actors, so we are naturally on their side anyway, but we can’t pretend the stories that have come out aren’t awful and tragic and deeply unpleasant. However it’s quite pleasing that we are now in a position where we can move forward and address that.”

The Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the CDG Committee annually and adjusted as necessary.

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