1.0 CASTING DIRECTORS SOCIETY OF CANADA - CODE OF CONDUCT
The Casting Directors Society of Canada (CDC) is a professional organization of independent casting directors in film, television, theatre and commercials who have joined together to further their common interests in establishing a recognized standard of professionalism for casting directors in the industry, enhancing the stature of this profession, providing a free exchange of information and ideas among its members, honouring the achievements of its members and standardization of working practices within this segment of the industry. Please note, the CDC is a professional and advisory body, not a trade union or licensing authority. The CDC does not itself directly or indirectly employ or engage casting directors and, therefore, has no legal powers or jurisdiction to discipline or sanction its members other than by establishing its own membership criteria and determining in which cases it will suspend or terminate any member’s membership for breaching this criteria. Nevertheless, by creating this CDC Code of Conduct CDC is committed to ensuring that the expectations for the conduct of its members to each other and to their clients, employees, associates, performers, agents, and the public are clearly stated. The goal is to create better workplaces and better work experiences in the industry by setting up these expectations among our members and by supporting any good faith complaint which may be made by anyone against a CDC member.
All CDC members must abide by CDC’s Code of Conduct. CDC member casting directors must take all reasonable steps to protect the safety and wellbeing of performers they are auditioning, as well as their employees, associates, and clients.
CDC completely condemns any and all behaviour that abuses, disrespects and undermines any individual. Sexual or physical abuse, coercion, harassment, and bullying have no place in our audition rooms, on set or in our industry, or any other.
Membership of the CDC shall be conditional upon the member accepting the Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct is to ensure best practices amongst members of the CDC. CDC’s members are ambassadors for the casting profession.
This Code of Conduct will be reviewed by the CDC’s executive Code of Conduct Committee annually and may be amended as they find necessary.
2.0 RELATIONSHIP TO CLIENTS AND CLIENTS’ REPRESENTATIVES
All members should:
2.1 Deal fairly, honestly and in good faith with their clients.
2.2 Promote and uphold best practices in all aspects of the casting process amongst directors, producers and other employers or engagers and their representatives, from casting calls and auditions to contracting for the services of performers.
2.3 Be aware of and abide by all applicable current laws (including employment and human rights laws), and any applicable current guild or union agreements, as these all may pertain to the casting process and to the best of each member’s ability.
2.4 Manage all aspects of the casting process, to the extent within the member’s care and control, in a manner that fully complies with this CDC Code of Conduct.
2.5 Ensure that in every production for which the member is engaged as a casting director both the member and, to the best of the member’s knowledge, all the employees and associates of the member, with respect to that same production are not also engaged as a performer; do not also act as an agent of any performer; do not directly or indirectly own or operate any agency that represents performers; do not accept any payment for auditioning any performer either from any performer or from any agent or representative of any performer; or otherwise engage in any other conduct that would reasonably be considered a conflict of interest with the member’s obligation of good faith to the member’s client. An exception may be made if any conflict of interest is made known to the member’s client and approved in advance and in writing by the client in any specific instance but provided that: (a) in productions under the jurisdiction of ACTRA or UBCP/ACTRA no such waivers of any conflict of interest by a member’s client shall be permitted; and (b) under no circumstances is a CDC member permitted to accept work that jeopardizes the real and reasonable possibility of paid work for performers and other artists unless the CDC member appears as their self and is credited as such in the production (usually, but not limited to, documentaries). It is suggested that net funds received by the member from such personal on screen work, if any, should be donated to a charity or fund beneficial to some area within the industry or pertaining to the production involved (e.g., The AFC (previously Actors’ Fund of Canada), AIDS Research, etc.). The paid services of a member in relation to performer workshops or training programs that are not tied to any particular production are not subject to this clause.
3.0 RELATIONSHIP TO EMPLOYEES, ASSOCIATES, PERFORMERS, AND PERFORMERS’ REPRESENTATIVES
All members should:
3.1 Be responsible for training their own employees and associates in the best practices of the casting process in the industry.
3.2 Ensure their own employees and associates (whether assistants, staff, interns, freelancers, or other personnel) are paid appropriately and in line with industry standards and, where under the control of the member, employed or engaged in accordance with best practices in the industry and without unlawful discrimination on the basis of race, national or ethnic origin, citizenship, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, mental or physical disability, marital status, family status, or age.
3.3 At all times treat all personal information collected by the member, and within the member’s care and control, in accordance with all applicable and current data protection laws.
3.4 At all times maintain professional relations with performers, performers’ agents and other representatives, and treat them all with respect and courtesy.
3.5 Give due consideration to auditioning professional talent from the community or region in which the production is made or set.
3.6 Keep performers or their agents or other representatives as informed as possible about their status within the casting process after callbacks, and endeavour to let them know when a performer is no longer in the running for a role. All performers who have been recalled, or who are unrepresented, should ideally be informed as soon as practical when they have not been successful or if a role has been cancelled.
3.7 Allow as much preparation time as possible for auditions and give performers enough information to help them prepare; be mindful of the amount of material performers are required to prepare; and encourage clients to choose only the essential number of contrasting scenes for first meets or tapings. Call backs should require new material and/or new notes, to give performers and their agents a clear idea as to why a performer should be re-seen/re-taped.
3.8 Provide all essential information about the audition, to include the time, venue, sections to prepare, and the personnel who will be attending. Casting directors should always be mindful of performers’ caring responsibilities and accommodate them where practical.
3.9 Use reasonable efforts within each member’s control to keep auditions running on schedule.
3.10 Ensure a role is only ever on offer, to the member’s knowledge, to only one performer at a time, unless there are exceptional circumstances, and to only audition further candidates for a role under offer with the consent of all concerned parties.
3.11 In conjunction with the agents, be aware of all performers’ rights, always maintaining industry standards and best practices, encouraging employers and engagers to pay and treat performers properly, and ensuring that in all matters of the audition process under the member’s care and control the member complies with all current and applicable laws and guild or union agreements as these pertain to the casting process.
3.12 Be particularly vigilant to apply industry best practices in the audition process that is under their care and control with respect to identifying and effectively addressing any and all instances of sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying, violence or threats of violence. With regard to the process of auditioning for scenes involving nudity, semi-nudity, intimacy, simulated sexual activity, or sexual violence, every member should adopt no less than the audition practices set out in Article A2401 of the ACTRA Independent Production Agreement, regardless of whether the production is under any union or guild jurisdiction or not, and should not participate in any callback auditions that may require nudity or semi-nudity unless the CDC member is satisfied that the audition space is clean, appropriate, reasonably soundproof, and includes gender-inclusive washrooms and change facilities.
3.13 Require any audition within the CDC member’s control which includes any intimate contact between performers to include the presence of an intimacy coordinator who is recognized by any reputable industry organization.
3.14 As a casting director, refrain from facilitating any one-to-one meetings in private non-professional environments (e.g., hotel rooms, private residences, etc.).
3.15 Ensure that all audition rooms within the CDC member’s care and control are safe spaces where auditionees are able to give their best and feel comfortable with what they are being asked to do and that any inappropriate behaviour from anyone is promptly challenged and, if necessary, promptly reported to CDC.
3.16 Abide by the CDC Statement on Diversity (see below).
4.0 RELATIONSHIP TO OTHER CDC MEMBERS
All members should:
4.1 Ensure that casting services are charged for appropriately. No member may solicit business by foregoing fees in a case where a fee would normally be paid to any other member for the equivalent services.
4.2 Refuse to accept any work from any company deemed by the CDC to be an Unfair Engager and under a Withdrawal of Services notification to the CDC membership. Any member’s breach of this clause will result in suspension or revocation of that member’s membership in the CDC, as determined by the CDC executive after due process.
4.3 Hold in confidence all private matters discussed at private CDC meetings and in any and all other private and confidential discussions or correspondence between CDC members. Similarly, all memoranda distributed amongst the CDC membership must be dealt with as private and confidential by all members. Respect for each other dictates that this be given utmost priority and is of particular importance for the members of the CDC executive. An exception to this clause is permitted only for the public release of such private or confidential documents or information expressly authorized in writing and in advance by CDC’s executive in each instance. Any member’s breach of this clause will result in suspension or revocation of that member’s membership in the CDC, as determined by the CDC executive after due process.
4.4 Never represent to anyone that the CDC endorses any cause or group without the prior written approval of the CDC executive.
4.5 Ensure that their CVs and websites accurately reflect their contribution to a production by specifying if they were sole casting director, original casting director, co-casting director, did local casting or recasting, casting associate or casting assistant.
4.6 Use reasonable efforts to have their assistants and associates properly credited by employers and engagers on all productions where the member is credited and these assistants or associates also provide their casting services.
CDC COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
If anyone, including but not limited to any performer or any CDC member, has a good faith complaint against a member of the CDC alleging any breach of this CDC Code of Conduct by the member or by anyone for whom the member may be legally responsible, please do not hesitate to contact CDC for guidance on CDC’s complaint procedure. Any enquiry will be treated with the utmost respect and in the strictest confidence as described below. Please contact any member of the CDC executive. The complaint will be shared only with the other members of the CDC executive and, to the fullest extent permitted by law, with absolutely no one else unless explicitly directed to do so by the complainant.
Some information regarding our complaint procedure:
Who will receive the first enquiry/contact?
Any and all complaints should ideally first be in writing and directed to any member of the then current executive of the CDC. Every complaint will be shared only with the other members of the CDC’s then current executive. If any complaint directly concerns a member of the CDC executive, the CDC executive member concerned shall neither be provided with the complaint nor included in any communication concerning the complaint unless with the complainant’s further permission. The CDC executive will treat what the complainant writes or afterwards communicates to CDC concerning the complaint in the strictest confidence to the fullest extent permitted by law. The complainant’s email or other written correspondence concerning a complaint will not be seen by anyone outside the then current CDC executive without the complainant’s further written permission. To the fullest extent permitted by law no further action will be taken without the complainant’s further specific instruction.
What happens next?
If the complainant would like to move forward with any particular sanction upon a complaint, the CDC executive must have a written statement of the alleged breach of this Code of Conduct. Nothing can happen without a complaint in writing from the complainant outlining in detail the alleged conduct being questioned. This can be anonymous: any identifying information concerning the complainant can be left out. Every complainant has the right to stop the CDC complaint process from going forward at any time until a decision by the CDC executive is issued concerning the complaint. If the complainant only wants to alert CDC to a situation but not request CDC to take any further action, that will be respected.
What action can the CDC take?
If a complainant wishes the complaint to proceed to investigation and determination of a sanction by CDC, then the CDC executive will promptly investigate the facts alleged. The only sanctions the CDC can invoke are either a suspension or termination of a CDC member’s membership in the CDC. Any member’s breach of any clause of the CDC’s Code of Conduct may, upon the determination of the CDC executive, result in either suspension or revocation of that member’s membership in the CDC, whichever sanction the CDC executive finds proportional to the gravity of the breach after CDC completes its due process.
If following investigation the CDC determines that the facts may warrant sanctions, it will advise the CDC member concerned and the CDC executive will act appropriately and transparently on its initial findings to allow the member to answer in full to any such allegations before making a final finding and concluding upon a sanction, if any, to the fullest extent that this can lawfully be done while respecting the anonymity of the any complainant who has requested anonymity.
Urgent procedures (cases of sexual or physical assault)
If you have been assaulted, even if it happened some time ago, you are advised to seek help immediately. You may decide to report the assault to the police. Any member of the CDC executive will be able to direct you to industry or community resources (e.g. the HAVEN program offered by ACTRA/DGC) that may help you decide what to do. If you do no more than call a member of CDC’s executive for this support information, to the fullest extent permitted by law no further action involving you will be taken by CDC without your express permission.
If you have been sexually assaulted or raped recently and are in urgent need of medical care or attention, you are advised to seek medical help as soon as possible. Immediate professional attention is the best means to preserve physical evidence of the assault, give you access to crisis support professionals, and preserve to the greatest extent your ability to choose what course of action, if any, you may take later. Every individual is unique and will respond differently to an experience of sexual violence. There is no right or wrong way to be or feel and ultimately it is your choice what you choose to do. Talking to an independent, specialist charity like a Rape Crisis Centre can help. Find details of your nearest services at https://trccmwar.ca/
CDC STATEMENT ON DIVERSITY
The Casting Directors Society of Canada is committed to diversity in the performing arts in all its forms. The CDC and its members recognize that the live and recorded arts should reflect our society and the world in which we live and encourages all its members to be mindful that audiences are diverse and that diversity in casting is crucial to engagement with those audiences.
It is the aim of the CDC and its members to achieve a balanced portrayal of women, all diversities, LGBTQ+, and differently abled people.
The CDC and its members shall strive to enable the casting of performers from all backgrounds, regardless of socio-economic status, and to engage with producers and directors to create opportunity and access to the industry by all performers.
The CDC will continue to engage in collaboration and discussion around the subject of diversity with our industry colleagues and other professional organizations.
The Casting Directors Society of Canada is a signatory to the Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct with the goal of preventing and reducing harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence within Canada’s creative industries.
Adopted and Agreed by Each and Every Member of the CDC.