Saturday 20 July 2019

Third of theatre workers say they have been sexually harassed at work – poll

The report comes after allegations of harassment and abuse within the wider entertainment industry.

Theatre workers were surveyed on their experiences of harassment and bullying (Ian West/PA Wire)
Theatre workers were surveyed on their experiences of harassment and bullying (Ian West/PA Wire)

By Ellie Cullen, Press Association

Almost a third of theatre professionals in the UK have experienced sexual harassment at work, according to a poll.

Stage magazine said it had surveyed 1,050 people working in the industry, with 31% saying they had encountered sexual harassment.

Some 43% of people who responded said they had been bullied, while 8% claimed to have been sexually assaulted at work, the report said.

However, 67% of people who had suffered some form of harassment or bullying at work did not report it, and when incidents of sexual assault were reported, no action was taken in four out of five cases, it added.

The Stage said its survey included performers, backstage workers, front of house staff and management, and was prompted by allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and abuse in the wider entertainment industry.

Kevin Spacey is being investigated over allegations of inappropriate activity (Matt Crossick/PA)

It comes after actor Kevin Spacey, who was artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre between 2004 and 2015, was accused of inappropriate behaviour, with 20 people making claims against him.

A representative for Spacey previously said the actor was “taking the time necessary to seek evaluation and treatment”.

The theatre has now created a programme to offer employees a way of sharing concerns about behaviour or workplace culture following an internal investigation into the accusations.

The Guardians programme will offer trained members of staff to act as sounding boards for people who are unsure that the traditional routes of line management or human resources are the best way forward with a concern.

The theatre previously said it will also develop a set of conduct rules and behavioural expectations in the wake of the allegations, dividing categories of behaviour into “OK and Not OK”.

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