by David Robb
July 20, 2020
The national board of SAG-AFTRA on Monday reprimanded Los Angeles Local president Patricia Richardson for refusing to remove a member of the local’s Sexual Harassment Committee, even though the board says she had received “detailed complaints from women who had been subject to or witness to sexual harassment, abuse and assault” by the committee member.
The board resolution does not identify the committee member, but Deadline has learned from multiple sources that it’s actor Corey Feldman, who stepped down from the committee June 26 amid mounting pressure for him to do so. Feldman has been a leading voice in the battle against abuse of underage actors.
On Monday, Feldman posted on Twitter that “IM ABOUT 2 B ATTACKED AGAIN IN A MASSIVE WAY!” He also sent a statement to Deadline saying, “I welcome an investigation”:
As a victim myself of sexual predators and an avid spokesperson on behalf of victims everywhere, I welcome an investigation. Beyond that, I don’t care to dignify the alleged claims of women who have been stalking me and harassing me endlessly for some time, for which I have contacted police.
My team and I have been tracking their movements for a very long time, and we have recordings and emails, along with eyewitnesses who will attest to the fact that this is all part of a covert operation to discredit, defame and ignore the claims I have been making for decades which have still not been investigated by LAPD or the DA of CA.
The same girls made the same claims 2 years ago and it was investigated and I was cleared by both LAPD and the DA, and say I’m greatly disappointed and have lost complete faith in SAG leadership, that Gabrielle Carteris would abandon precious measures I was trying to implement for the future safety and protection of our children.
The town hall was rescheduled for July 6, but Feldman did not attend.
In a statement to Deadline, Richardson said: “Today, President Carteris made a motion assaulting my character and the actions of our Local Board with regard to the handling of an allegation of misconduct by a member who sits on our Sexual Harassment Committee.
“In a shockingly transparent political attack, President Carteris codified her own dangerous approach to dealing with Sexual Harassment accusations,” she added. Read her full statement below.
Feldman, who recently released the documentary My Truth: The Rape of Two Coreys, about alleged sexual assaults against him and fellow child actor Corey Haim in the 1980s, starred in big movies as a kid including The Goonies, The Lost Boys and Stand by Me, when he alleges the incidents occurred.
According to the resolution, Richardson, an outspoken opponent of the guild’s national leadership and the union’s proposed new film and TV contract, declined to remove Feldman from the committee, stating in an email that the charges were “unproven” and “possibly have been paid for.”
The resolution said “the Los Angeles Local President’s refusal to remove the alleged perpetrator from the Los Angeles Local Sexual Harassment Committee was detrimental to the best interests of SAG-AFTRA’s members.”
Here is Richardson’s complete statement, followed by the full motion that was approved by more than two-thirds of the national board:
Today, President Carteris made a motion assaulting my character and the actions of our Local Board with regard to the handling of an allegation of misconduct by a member who sits on our Sexual Harassment Committee.
In a shockingly transparent political attack, President Carteris codified her own dangerous approach to dealing with Sexual Harassment accusations.
Were the union to make this kind of rash decision Ms. Carteris recklessly ordered, without due process, it would have opened itself up to defamation lawsuits, particularly when such an impulsive action doesn’t follow our own established protocols.
While no criminal charges were made against our member, after a thoughtful conversation, the member stepped down in the interest of supporting the committee’s work.
This decision was not Ms. Carteris’ to make. She has no jurisdiction over my committee choices.
I couldn’t be more shocked that I was sandbagged in this meeting over a decision that was made, which marginalized this member who was a survivor themself, and one who had chosen to protect other children by having laws changed in two states which would extend times survivors have to report abuse.
Unlike Carteris, who as National President assigns every Chair and every single member of every committee in accordance to what party they belong to, I give my Bipartisan Chairs the power to choose members of their committees and to make their own decisions about those committees.
I gave the Chairs of the Sexual Harassment Committee (with some consultation from me and the member in question) the power to make the decision which was in no way the National President’s to make.
As of this writing, there still has been no legal charges brought against that member.
Clearly, the behavior of Ms. Carteris and her accomplices in the boardroom, and on our staff, have reached a breaking point.
The failure of leadership by this President and those complicit in her craven attempt to smear my name, only reveal the abdication of responsibility to deliver key intimacy protections for our members when they are most vulnerable.
The political calculus is designed to mute our objection to their failure on this issue.
It won’t work.
Enough people are watching and paying attention to the truth.
So, let us finish the business of this proposed ratification vote. We will have more to say about Ms. Carteris’ defamation in due course.”
This is the resolution passed by the board:
WHEREAS, all officers of SAG-AFTRA, including Local officers, are fiduciaries who must act in the best interests of the members of SAG-AFTRA and refrain from taking any action which is detrimental to the members’ best interests; and
WHEREAS, beginning in mid-June 2020, the President of SAG-AFTRA received numerous separate, detailed complaints from women who had been subject to or witness to sexual harassment, abuse and assault by a member of the SAG-AFTRA Los Angeles Local who was serving on the Los Angeles Local Sexual Harassment Committee; and
WHEREAS, a number of these women have made formal complaints to law enforcement, including the Los Angeles Police Department, and investigations are currently ongoing; and
WHEREAS, the Los Angeles Local President and other local officers were immediately informed of these allegations, in order to provide them the opportunity to remove the alleged perpetrator from his position on the Los Angeles Local Sexual Harassment Committee during the pendency of such allegations;
WHEREAS, in addition to the concerns regarding the alleged perpetrator’s continuing membership on the local Sexual Harassment Committee, the Local President was also urged to remove the alleged perpetrator from a panel on sexual harassment that, while sponsored by an “unofficial” group of Los Angeles Local officers and members, appeared to the public to be an official SAG-AFTRA sponsored event; and
WHEREAS, on June 17, 2020, in order to protect the members of the Union, a written communication was sent to the Los Angeles Local President demanding that this member be removed from the Los Angeles Local Sexual Harassment Committee; and
WHEREAS, on June 17, 2020, the Los Angeles Local President refused to remove the alleged perpetrator from the Committee, stating in an email that the charges were “unproven,” “possibly have been paid for” and, with respect to the panel on which he was appearing, that “[w]e have a clinical psychologist on hand to talk to anyone privately that is feeling triggered…;” and
WHEREAS, on June 22, 2020, in light of the Los Angeles Local President’s refusal to take action in regard to the alleged perpetrator’s continuing participation on the local Sexual Harassment Committee, a written communication was sent to the members of the Los Angeles Sexual Harassment Committee, emphasizing the need to “ensure that women who are reporting vicious sexual assault and harassment allegations are not ignored or dehumanized,” decrying the “victim-blaming and demeaning comments” made by the Los Angeles Local President and others, and reiterating the need to remove the accused member from the Los Angeles Local Sexual Harassment Committee; and
WHEREAS, the Los Angeles Local President still refused to remove the member from the committee; and
WHEREAS, on June 26, 2020, amid growing public concerns about this matter, the alleged perpetrator resigned from the Los Angeles Local Sexual Harassment Committee; and
WHEREAS, SAG-AFTRA has maintained an unequivocal position publicly condemning sexual harassment, abuse, and assault, and has worked steadfastly to attempt to address it in our Union and our industry; and
WHEREAS, if SAG-AFTRA does not respond appropriately to credible allegations of sexual harassment, abuse and assault such as those at issue, it will not retain the ability to act as a respected, proactive force combatting sexual harassment, abuse and assault in our Union and our industry;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Los Angeles Local President’s refusal to remove the alleged perpetrator from the Los Angeles Local Sexual Harassment Committee was detrimental to the best interests of SAG-AFTRA’s members; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Los Angeles Local President is ordered to cease and desist from all conduct that violates National Board policy or is otherwise detrimental to the best interests of SAG-AFTRA’s members.