Actresses Keira Knightly and Naomie Harris have joined the call for an Independent Standards Authority (ISA), an independent body to tackle and investigate cases of bullying and harassment in the UK entertainment industry.
The campaign was created by the anti-harassment and bullying group “UK Time’s Up”.
“For someone to fulfill their creative potential, there can be no fear or disrespect of any kind,” Knightley said.
Harris added that “no one should go to work in fear of harassment, bullying and abuse”.
UK Time’s Up creating an action plan with Creative UK, which promotes the development of creative companies. The groups are also talking to representatives from the music, TV, film, theater, advertising, games and fashion sectors.
Dame Heather Rabbatts, president of Time’s Up UK, said it was a “historic moment” for the film and TV industry to plan to create a new independent body.
“Only by creating a body that is fully independent, with processes and investigations that follow legal standards of confidentiality, can there be confidence in ensuring the integrity of the industry.”
Last year, singer Rebecca Ferguson met with the Department of Culture, Media and Sport to share her experience of bullying, harassment and discrimination while working in the music industry. The year before, she told the BBC that people who speak out about issues like racism or sexual abuse in the creative industries “close themselves down and their careers are over”.
Ferguson said the creation of an enforcement body is “an opportunity to change the way workers in the industry are treated in our country.” He added: “By supporting this, you are making history.”
“ISA is a monumental step that will support future professionals, who may include their children, grandchildren or family members. Nobody deserves to go to work in fear.”
Time’s Up teamed up with the BFI and BAFTA in 2017 to establish guidelines to combat bullying and harassment, which were released the following year.
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries also offered her support for the creation of the ISA: “No one should be bullied or harassed, no matter what sector they are in. I feel it is up to the creative industries to ensure the well-being of those who work in them.”
She added that she is pleased with the steps taken so far to improve standards of behavior in the industry: “But I want to see more. I want there to be a safe and welcoming environment for everyone who wants to work in the film, TV, music and other industries. broader creatives, no matter who they are, or where they’re from.”
BAFTA president Krishnendu Majumdar said: “In industries that rely on freelancers on informal, short-term contracts, we often hear that there is nowhere to go when contracts end. This ‘gray zone’ leaves many professionals with the feeling that there is no recourse but to turn to the media”.
“As a charitable arts institution, BAFTA supports the proposal for a truly independent and credible body that has the authority and legal infrastructure to provide an adequate process for complaints and accusations. We believe that the introduction of an independent authority is not just a well -coming to our industries is essential.”
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