Actors will be better equipped to handle “intrusive questions” at auditions following the launch of a new guide from Equity, which seeks to stamp out unlawful behaviour at castings.
The union said performers – particularly women – could be asked for “inappropriate personal information” at castings, which it said could create stressful situations for actors.
It has introduced a ‘casting questions card’, which outlines subjects performers should not be asked about at auditions, such as age, disability, gender reassignment, marital status, race. religion or sexual orientation. The card details how to report any incidents.
Kelly Burke, from Equity’s Women’s Committee, said: “We’re often asked for inappropriate personal information in castings – for example, to disclose our age, race, or relationship status. It can be stressful, because you know that any answer you give (say, telling someone your real age versus playing age) could lose you the job. But this kind of information is protected under the Equality Act. We wouldn’t be asked about it in any other kind of job interview and shouldn’t be asked in castings.”
Burke added: “It is information we should only disclose by choice, and not as a condition of getting work. We’re really excited about Equity’s Casting Questions Card, which gives members a quick guide to what information is protected and some strategies for dealing with intrusive questions when they happen.“
Last year, the Casting Directors’ Guild launched a new code of conduct, following allegations of harassment in the sector.