The Dramatists Guild of America is an organization that includes dramatic writers at various stages of their careers, born of different experiences and/or identities, with different modes of expression, different political views, etc. This is part of why each writer’s voice is unique and why the Dramatists Guild works to advocate for you and protect the integrity of your work. In order for us to do so effectively, the DG provides opportunities for writers to come together in shared community spaces, such as committee meetings, regional events, workshops, panel discussions and webinars, both in person and on-line.
By opening up community spaces to the entirety of our membership (and sometimes to non-members as well) we acknowledge the likelihood that differing views will be expressed. Our virtual spaces include even greater numbers of people and add anonymity and distance to the mix, exponentially increasing the potential for disagreements to arise. In our community spaces, therefore, we must find a balance in the way we interact with our peers to ensure that a safe environment is maintained while balancing the right for all to express themselves freely through their work. This Code of Conduct seeks to establish that balance.
We encourage everyone to read and review this summary of the Code and invite those who seek greater detail and context to review the full code.
For purposes of honesty, courtesy and legality, people interacting in a community space (whether in person or online) are expected to abide by the following rules:
- No fraudulent behavior – Fraudulent behavior includes misrepresentation of one’s self through registration or attendance under a false name, or for an event for which the participant is not authorized, as well as making knowingly false or intentionally misleading statements of fact about themselves or others;
- No abusive behavior – Abusive behavior includes using racist, sexist, or demeaning language (e.g., mocking or ridiculing others or making ad hominem attacks) or repeatedly using combative language (e.g., repeatedly talking over or interrupting; repeatedly addressing others in a knowingly inappropriate manner) or otherwise being disruptive; and
- No lllegal behavior – Illegal behavior includes harassment, invasion of privacy, defamation, infringement, or acts otherwise violating the legal rights of others.
To ensure this code of conduct is observed in all of our community spaces, the event organizer (or the person hosting the event) will take on the role of moderator. A Moderator has both the right and obligation to control the flow of the event and try to ensure that everyone within the space feels welcomed while adhering to our guidelines. While giving everyone access:
- Moderators (including the chair of a committee meeting) are authorized to enforce the code or appoint a “sergeant at arms” to enforce the practices found within this Code of Conduct;
- Moderators may record meetings in order to enforce this code, except that no recording is permitted of any performances or readings where actors who are members of the Actors’ Equity Association may be performing;
- Moderators can establish reasonable time limits for participants’ statements and their presentations, as well as the overall duration of the event;
- Moderators can take appropriate steps to provide members with an alternative access to event through the support and resources available from the DG staff;
- Moderators may suggest a topic or theme for works being presented at a particular event but may not cancel or censor the presentation of a writer’s work based on its quality or content. Moderators can, however, establish reasonable rules for presenting work, including the use of trigger warnings and synopses for work that portrays situations or includes language that would otherwise violate the Code, and for responding to work by participants, to ensure a constructive and positive environment; and
- Moderators can ask all attendees to an online event to have their cameras on, if they feel it is required to foster a comfortable environment for all. Accommodations can and will be made if this expectation would otherwise limit a particular participant’s access to a particular event. Exceptions should be discussed, in writing, with the moderator before the event.
To put everyone on notice as to possible remedies for code violations, Moderators may address conflicts or concerns through the following escalating steps:
- Verbal Warning
- Exclusion from Present Community Space
- Recommendation of Temporary Bar from All Community Spaces
- Recommendation of Permanent Bar from All Community Spaces
If a member feels they have been falsely accused of a code violation, the member should contact the Guild’s Director of Finance & Administration.
If a Moderator is unsure of their rights, uncomfortable confronting a particular individual, or simply requires further counsel or assistance, they may contact the designated reporters (see, “contacts” at the end of this code) for the Dramatists Guild.
If there is a code violation, the moderator and/or the witnesses to the event may be asked to fill out an incident report so that we have proper documentation that may be required in taking next steps to address the situation.
If you are ever made to feel that you are in immediate danger, please alert a member of Dramatists Guild staff immediately and remove yourself from the situation as swiftly as possible. No community space is more important than your safety. If the behavior reported is a criminal act, such as assault, please contact the Police as well as staff and leadership.
Fill out an incident report
You can find the Guild’s full anti-harassment policy, including definitions, examples, reporting procedures, and available resources, here: https://www.dramatistsguild.com/sexual-harassment-policy-and-resources
Reports of sexual harassment can be made verbally or in writing. To submit a complaint in writing, individuals can use the complaint form but are not required to do so. Please reference the complaint form via this link: Sexual Harassment Complaint Form.
Moderators who believe that they have been subjected to an unlawful discriminatory practice or harassment and are not satisfied with The Dramatists Guild’s response to their concern may file a written complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). You may contact the EEOC New York via the web: https://publicportal.eeoc.gov/portal/ or by phone at 1-800-669-4000.
Executive Directors: Emmanuel Wilson, email@example.com and Ralph Sevush, firstname.lastname@example.org
Director of Finance & Administration: Claudia Stuart, email@example.com
Volunteer Programs Manager: Elle Hartman firstname.lastname@example.org
Of Counsel: David Faux, email@example.com