Several months after controversy surrounded the Alamo Drafthouse regarding the firing, rehiring and firing again of Devin Faraci -- and the organization’s relationship with longtime Drafthouse staple Harry Knowles -- the Austin-based chain of movie houses released a new code of conduct and announced several initiatives aimed at reforming their own staffing issues.
In a blog entry titled “Building a safer, more inclusive and better Alamo Drafthouse,” the Alamo elliptically addressed their personnel issues:
“The past four months have been a complicated, cathartic and invigorating period at Alamo Drafthouse and across the country. Since September so many people inside and outside our company have devoted their focus and energy into making certain Alamo Drafthouse is a safe, respectful and inclusive place for everyone -- guests and colleagues, friends and family.”
In September of last year, the public learned that former Devin Faraci, the former editor of the Drafthouse-owned magazine Birth.Movies.Death who had resigned from that post following harassment claims less than a year before, was back working for the Drafthouse in an internal capacity.
In addition, the Drafthouse cut ties with Harry Knowles following harassment claims leveled at the well-known founder of the Ain’t It Cool New film website.
Here is the code of conduct applicable to Drafthouse events:
Known for their strict rules regarding audience behavior, this new code of conduct is notable in that it is both employee-facing and audience-facing.
In addition, the Drafthouse said it was implimenting the following:
* A Chief People Officer who’ll implement new policies and drive leadership and diversity initiatives.
* Recruiting staff from all levels to join a Staff Advisory Council, which will play a vital role in high-level company decisions going forward.
* A partnership with Austin-based SAFE to “review our updated policies and procedures and to provide training to the Austin team on recognizing and properly responding to sexual harassment and assault. We plan to replicate this training in other locations with local nonprofits.”
* Overhauling “the ways our staff can safely report harassment or misconduct complaints to make certain every complaint is investigated and resolved.”
* A tool called Workify “that our staff can use to relay feedback anonymously, and which management and HR can use to respond to that anonymous feedback.”
* Improved and up-to-date sexual harassment training