Tag Archives: sexual abuse

Chicago Film Community Members Launch an Initiative to Stop Sexual Harassment and Abuse in Local Productions

by Legendary Lew

A group of local Chicago media executives have come forth with an initiative to combat sexual harassment and abuse in local media. Among the

Called Chicago Media Standards, the statement challenges all industry professionals and institutions to take steps needed for a “ground-level shift” that would affect the entire business. What I really like about the statement is the acknowledgment that simply outing wrongdoers isn’t enough:

We have recently witnessed a seismic shift in acknowledging these issues (sexism, misogyny, discrimination), as an avalanche of allegations against power-brokers has revealed a system built on abuse. Unfortunately, none of the alleged conduct is unusual or even surprising. Many of us in the Chicago film industry are well aware of such conduct happening right here on our own sets, in our production offices, at our festivals, and in our schools.

We are better than this. We cannot allow this toxic culture to exist any longer, and we ask our peers to take a collective stand against the entrenched sexism and misogyny of our industry. This requires far more than just “calling out” or publicly shaming a few individuals for their distasteful conduct. We need to implement a ground-level shift in how we understand and deal with sexual harassment and discrimination of all kinds against all members of our community.

Change of this magnitude must happen both at an individual level and at an institutional level. Each of us must look inwards at what we can do personally, and outwards at what we can do through our organizations. And we must work together as a committed network of industry leaders to forge the way forward.”

The Underground Multiplex welcomes the letter and joins IFP Chicago, Full Spectrum Features, Open TV, Film Fatales, Zaxie, Black Apple Media, Stage 18 Chicago, and Percolator Films in the call for action to end the abuses.

The full statement can be read below. You can join their conversation at the Facebook page for Chicago Media Standards.

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The Profiles Theatre’s Latest Show Ends Before It Begins

At the same time that allegations of physical and sexual abuse against its actors went public, Profiles Theatre had this ad for its next--now cancelled--production

At the same time that allegations of physical and sexual abuse against its actors went public, Profiles Theatre had this ad for its next–now cancelled–production

by Legendary Lew

The Chicago Reader recently published a blazing expose of Profiles Theatre and the decades of abuse suffered by some of its actors and actresses. If you’ve yet to read it, please do so. It’s an exhaustive piece by Aimee Levitt.

Well, after nothing happened for decades to stop the alleged abuses by manager Darrell Cox and complicity by company co-founder Joe Jahraus, the clouds burst.

The massive article has been picked up by Jezebel, Playbill and has gained the attention of The Jeff Awards Committee, which stated it will review its award given to Cox for an acting performance he gave during a period of alleged abuse.

Now the latest bad news for the theater: their newest production, The Village Bike has been shut down by its playwright Penelope Skinner, who rescinded the rights to the work due to the expressed allegations.

Much more is going on while this news article catches on like wildfire. Artsintegrity.org has more in this post of updates.

Next week, we’ll have some footage of some of the brave folks who dared thunderstorms to take a late-night action against the theater. Stay tuned!