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Killer Casting

Jan 3, 2022

Happy New Year! I am thrilled today to sit down with actor, producer and advocate Sarah Ann Masse. In 2017, Sarah came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against Harvey Weinstein — one of many actresses (like Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd) who said they had also suffered sexual harassment and sexual assault by the producer. She tells me her story of what happened that day at Weinstein’s Connecticut home, the silence and anxiety she endured for years after, and the shocking backlash she says she suffered from our industry once she went public.

Though Weinstein has been convicted of rape, sentenced to 23 years in New York prison and awaits another sexual assault trial in Los Angeles — many of his victims still suffer career retaliation for having spoken out. To turn that around, Sarah created her own initiative, Hire Survivors Hollywood, which aims to raise support for survivors of sexual violence within the entertainment industry by encouraging those in positions of power to make a pledge to hire survivors and silence breakers, and give them a fair chance through auditions, meetings and interviews, like any other person trying to make it in entertainment.

I encourage all my beloved Casting Director colleagues, producers, writers, directors, studio and network executives to take the pledge: “I pledge to build a safer, more equitable industry by giving opportunities, auditions, & interviews to survivors & #SilenceBreakers. I’ll never retaliate against anyone for coming forward about sexual violence. I pledge to @HireSurvivors #TakeThePledge #HireSurvivorsHollywood” No one deserves to be punished for telling the truth. Follow Hire Survivors Hollywood on instagram, twitter, and facebook to join the conversation and learn more. Please use #HireSurvivorsHollywood to be a part of the conversation! If you have been a victim of sexual violence and believe you have faced direct or indirect career retaliation because of it please email our encrypted email address

Please also see the following resources if you need help. There are people who want to help you…so please reach out! Resources for Survivors of Sexual Violence RAINN – (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, y
In partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors, and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice. CALL THEIR 24/7 HOTLINE FOR HELP 800.656.4673

1 in 6 – The mission of 1in6 is to help men who have had unwanted or abusive sexual experiences live healthier, happier lives. Their mission also includes serving family members, friends, partners, and service providers by providing information and support resources on the web and in the community. Please use their 24/7 online chatline

Birdbrain – is an art therapy non-profit for people impacted by sexual trauma. Our mission is to comfort sexual trauma victims and assist members of their support networks throughout the long-term stages of recovery. To achieve this we focus on restorative ways people can feel confident, practice self-care, relate to others, and establish their own individual journey in a society that is not yet designed to accommodate their needs. We do this by showing solidarity through our birdbrain clothing line, providing art therapy kits that alleviate PTSD symptoms, and offering education resources like our workbook Birdbrain: a Field Guide to the New Normal. 

Echo Training – Echo provides education on trauma and resilience to survivors and those who support them. They have amazing free resources available here and online trainings available here. This organization is run by a silence breaker and is entirely focused on empowering survivors.

PAVE – Shattering the Silence with PAVE is a movement to create a world free of sexual violence and build communities that support survivors. We aim to empower students, parents, and civic leaders to end sexual violence with prevention education, promoting respect for oneself and each other. Additionally, PAVE creates a safe space for survivors to thrive after trauma.

Peace Over Violence – Peace Over Violence operates The Los Angeles Rape and Battering Hotline, a confidential, non-judgmental resource where staff and volunteers are available to provide emotional support, advocacy, information, and referrals. If you or someone you care about has been a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or intimate partner stalking in Los Angeles, please call this 24-hour crisis line. Central Los Angeles: (213) 626-3393
South Los Angeles: (310) 392-8381
West San Gabriel Valley: (626) 793-3385

Rape Treatment Center – The Rape Treatment Center provides comprehensive, free services for sexual assault victims 24 hours a day, including specialized emergency medical care, forensic/evidentiary examinations, counseling, advocacy, and information about rights and options to help victims make informed choices and decisions. Services are provided in a dedicated, private clinic located within Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center. The RTC also provides longer-term therapy for victims and other support services. Call the RTC at (424) 259-7208. – works daily to ensure that we have a growing and thriving group of survivor committed organizations for those needing assistance. We have teams of actual (amazing!) humans who spend each day searching for, reaching out, and working with survivor focused organizations. We also coordinate with top experts to bring high quality information to our community of providers. This helps keep the community alive and thriving, while also allowing us to convey important, impactful and interesting content to our partners. These Lunch and Learn events are done at least monthly. Because we are so survivor focused, but early in our journey, we are exploring additional survivor support models such as bringing lunch and learns to the wider world, hosting survivor support circles, and also additional innovative online survivor support tools.

Strength United – is dedicated to ending abuse, empowering families and developing leaders. Strength United is honored to be an important part of making the world a safer place for all. Our work supports families, prevents sexual and domestic violence, and provides healing and support for those who have survived abuse. We aim to take a traumatic event in an individual or family’s life and turn it into a point of strength. For more information, call our 24-Hour Support and Referral Lines 818-886-0453 661-253-0258 If you are in immediate danger, call 911. Statement of Nondiscrimination Strength United does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status, in any of its activities or operations.  These activities include, but are not limited to, selection of volunteers and provision of services. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of our staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, vendors, and clients.

TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund – will help defray legal and public relations costs in select cases for those who have experienced sexual harassment or related retaliation in the workplace. The Fund is housed at and administered by the National Women’s Law Center, an established, national, women’s rights legal organization. Voices in Action – works to prevent and eradicate sexual harassment, misconduct, and assault in the entertainment industry.

Voices in Action offers an accessible and safe space to report incidents of misconduct and abuse online, offering referrals for trusted legal and emotional support services and the ability to safely connect with victims of the same abuser under privilege and confidentiality through attorneys. Voices in Action is an initiative of empowerment and strength by using one’s Voice. We were created by survivors, for survivors, and represent all genders.

Women in Film Sexual Harassment Helpline – The WIF Help Line is an integrated program offering resources and support—including referrals to pro bono legal services, sliding-scale therapy, and free support groups—for anyone who has experienced sexual harassment or misconduct while working in the entertainment industry. Our trauma-informed staff responders take calls from across the country. Pro bono attorneys are available for callers in California, New York, and Georgia. Local mental health and emotional support services currently serve the cities of Los Angeles, New York City, and Atlanta. Call 855.WIF.LINE OR: 855.943.5463 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. PT | Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. PT | Tuesday and Thursday