Safe Play’s Statement of Principles
Safe Play is based on values that we think essential to create a safer community all together.
Safe Play and its partners pledge:
I will stand up to all forms of harassment, bigotry, and bullying.
I will stand with the people who are the targets of harassment, bigotry, and bullying.
I will speak out against intolerance based on gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, ability, income, age, or any other factor.
I will work together with my fellow improvisers to create safer, more inclusive communities, theaters, and shows for all.
Safe Play and its partners stand by and act upon the following principles:
We will not choose between improvising with harassment or not improvising at all.
We prioritize the safety and well-being of the targets, not the perpetrators, of harmful behaviors. This starts with listening to their stories. Harassment and bullying are never the target’s fault and we will validate every survivor’s feelings. Taking immediate action when harmful behavior occurs is the responsibility of the leaders of the improv community where it occurs. Owning and changing the problematic behavior is the responsibility of the perpetrator.
We question the historical patterns of oppressive and hurtful behavior.
Every part of the entertainment industry, from classical theater institutions to comedy open-mics, are finally forced to have a reckoning. We recognise that many abusive behaviors, words, and actions were considered “acceptable” before even as they hurt and harmed many people. We refuse to uphold old patterns and practices simply because they’ve been normalized before.
We acknowledge the intersectionality of many forms of oppression, harassment, and bullying.
We recognize that our work needs to include and empower all improvisers, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, ability, income, age, or any other factor. We strive to ensure that our organizations and leadership reflect the diversity of improv communities we represent.
We protect people’s privacy, and we stand against the culture of silence.
We take the protection of personal information extremely seriously. We do not spread rumors or gossip, or share reports without the reporter’s consent. At the same time, we refuse to accept excuses for abusive behavior that appeal to privacy and silencing, such as “not a big deal,” “don’t rock the boat,” etc. We will publicly stand with the survivors and will not let them be silenced.
We commit to constant education for our communities and ourselves.
We recognize that most people do not intend to cause harm and may not be aware of the harm they cause. As a community we will educate ourselves, so that we can limit harmful behavior and offer better support to its targets. The remedy to harassment and discrimination of all kinds lies in empathy and education.
We prioritize the wellbeing of communities over personal connections.
Given the nature of the improv community, we recognise that there might be situations when we need to question our own behaviors or the behaviors of the people we feel personally connected to. We will hold people accountable even if friendships or connections make it difficult. We will hold people accountable because the safety and well-being of our communities are important to us. We will hold people accountable so that no future targets or survivors have to.