BAFTA Calls for Summit to Tackle Sexual Harassment and Bullying in the Industry

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BAFTA CEO Amanda Berry has called for an industry-wide summit to tackle sexual harassment and bullying in the U.K. entertainment industry.

Her suggestion follows a statement from Time’s Up (U.K.), issued on Wednesday, calling for an independent standards body to oversee U.K. productions and offer guidance and advice, a mediation service and a place to report historic and current allegations, among other things.

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“We join Times Up U.K. in calling on the industry to come together at a high-level summit to address the urgent need for a consistent and trusted industry-wide approach to responding to allegations of bullying and harassment, as well as to make meaningful changes to the culture and working practices to support people making complaints and better safeguard all those working in the screen industries,” Berry said.

“As part of this, BAFTA is accelerating its work with industry partners to encourage employers to adopt the bullying, harassment and racism prevention guidance that we developed in partnership with the BFI and other organizations in response to these issues.”

Following a raft of allegations against both writer and director Noel Clarke and producer Charlie Hanson in recent weeks, as well as a Telegraph report suggesting sexual harassment and bullying is endemic in British drama schools, the U.K. entertainment industry is currently grappling with its own #MeToo reckoning.

A report by the Royal Television Society published this week also found that newcomers to the industry “are routinely bullied and harassed”.

As well as calling for some sort of regulatory body to oversee harassment in film, television and theater, Time’s Up (U.K.) have also stated that intimacy co-ordinators should be mandatory on set, inspired by “I May Destroy You” actress Michaela Coel’s speech during the BAFTA TV awards on Sunday.

While accepting an award for leading actress, Coel dedicated her win to the series’ intimacy co-ordinator Ita O’Brien, saying: “Thank you for your existence in our industry, for making the space safe for creating physical, emotional, and professional boundaries so that we can make work about exploitation, loss of respect, about abuse of power, without being exploited or abused in the process.”

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