The Model Alliance stands with the brave individuals who have come forward to share their stories and with all survivors of sexual harassment and abuse. Sexual harassment, abuse, and assault have no place in the creative process, and should not be excused this way. No person should tolerate any sort of unwanted or inappropriate conduct, nor should our industry.
The alleged acts by Harvey Weinstein are horrific and unacceptable. Unfortunately, this exploitative, bullying behavior is more prevalent in the fashion industry than many people would like to acknowledge. And despite the significant control that modeling agencies and clients exert over models’ working lives, they generally insist that models are independent contractors, not employees. As contractors, models do not benefit from the laws intended to curb sexual harassment on the job and protect models.
Numerous models have accused power-brokers in the fashion industry of sexual abuse. In many cases, the allegations go beyond harassment. With the majority of fashion models beginning their careers between the ages of 13 and 16, children who model are particularly vulnerable to such abuse. And yet, it wasn’t until November 2013, through the Model Alliance's efforts, that underage models in New York State gained protections under the Department of Labor.
At the Model Alliance, we strive to ensure a safe working environment through educational workshops, research studies, legislative advocacy, and our confidential grievance reporting service, Model Alliance Support. We advise models who come to us with work-related questions and complaints, and we refer them to attorneys when necessary. We collaborate with the Mayor’s Office of Labor Policy and Standards, a dedicated resource for workers in NYC. The Model Alliance has provided guidance and support to hundreds of models.
If you are being coerced or threatened, or you simply feel that a situation is not right – you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and a dedicated Model Alliance representative will help address your concerns.
This is an issue that the Model Alliance is working closely to address and to which we are fully committed.