Sunday 25 August 2019

Equity wants to see ‘radical change’ following sexual harassment ‘crisis’

It will launch an investigation with conclusions published in the new year.

Dublin Grand Canal Theatre
Dublin Grand Canal Theatre

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Equity has announced plans to find “radical solutions” to the sexual harassment “crisis” in the entertainment industries.

The trade union said its work should result in “concrete and real action”, with conclusions and recommendations published in the new year.

It will contact its members for suggestions “to combat harassment and the culture of fear that often prevents them from reporting incidents” in the theatre, film, TV, audio and new media industries.

Equity will also discuss with the likes of UK Theatre, the BBC, ITV and the Society of London Theatre whether “their current workplace policies regarding harassment and bullying remain fit for purpose”.

Actor Maureen Beattie, who is vice president of the UK’s largest entertainment trade union, said: “This is a key moment for the industry to harness the energy generated by those courageous enough to speak out about their appalling treatment.

“We will do all that we can to ensure that the supportive statements made by those with power in our industry are followed up with concrete and real action that will bring about the radical change needed to make our industry safer for all creative workers.”

Equity general secretary Christine Payne said: “The sexual harassment of women and men has to stop. It cannot be excused as part of any creative process.

“Influential figures cannot be above the decent and legal standards we demand in workplaces throughout the UK. We will work with employers to make meaningful change and empower our members to combat the culture of fear that is preventing them reporting abuse.”

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