Bafta and the BFI have launched the first Set of Principles and Guidance to tackle bullying and harassment, specifically tailored to the screen industries. The initiative is backed by ten industry organisations, including the Edinburgh Television Festival, Bectu, Women in Film & Television, UK Screen and Pact. The move is a response to the “urgent and systemic issues” revealed over past months.
As part of the initiative, the BFI and Bafta will offer training to companies so that they can have in-house provision for incidents. The plan is to assign two designated workers per organisation (or film/TV set) who will be trained “to handle issues and allegations [and to] ensure workers understand their rights and know how to seek help and support”.
From April, a new Film and TV Support Line from the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund will be set up, free of charge for anyone working in the film and television industry and will operate on a 24/7 basis.
The Set of eight Principles cover a shared responsibility to respect others, adopt a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment, adhere to the laws around equality and health and safety, protect victims and witnesses, respect confidentiality, ensure that rigorous processes are in place for reporting and underline the value of inclusivity.
The BFI suggests companies can show support by adding the guidelines to official websites.
It is aiming for the newly-published principles to exist alongside pre-exiting workplace guidance documents published by the likes of the BBC and Bectu.
Said Lisa Campbell, Festival Director, Edinburgh International Television Festival:
“The abuse of power in the TV industry is sadly widespread – of the 300 people completing our recent bullying and harassment survey, a shocking 71% said they had experienced such behaviour. “The TV Festival’s subsequent panel debate unearthed some disheartening stories of intimidation, particularly among freelancers and junior production staff. With some 65% also reporting a lack of faith in employers to deal with issues, it’s clear that positive change can only come from the top. “A clear set of guidelines, supported by cross-industry organisations in this way, is a vital and hugely encouraging step towards the cultural shift needed. We’ll be continuing to put the spotlight on the issue at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in August.”
“A clear set of guidelines, supported by cross-industry organisations in this way, is a vital and hugely encouraging step towards the cultural shift needed. We’ll be continuing to put the spotlight on the issue at the Edinburgh International TV Festival in August.”Lisa Campbell - The TV Festival
The move has also received the support of actors Emma Watson, Gemma Arterton, Jodie Whittaker, Gemma Chan, and producers Barbara Broccoli, Rebecca O’Brien and Alison Owen.
The guidelines can be downloaded here: http://www.bfi.org.uk/about-bfi/policy-strategy/set-principles-screen-industry