All major British broadcasters have backed and pledged immediate financial support for an Independent Standards Authority (ISA) to tackle bullying and harassment in film and TV.
The move represents the next stage in the proposal led by UK Time’s Up Chair Heather Rabbatts and Creative UK CEO Caroline Norbury and has been rubberstamped by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Paramount-owned Channel 5 and Comcast-owned pay-TV giant Sky.
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Last month, huge stars including Keira Knightley, Naomie Harris and singer Rebecca Ferguson joined calls for the ISA to ensure that anyone who has suffered abuse, harassment and bullying can receive confidential advice, mediation and investigation into complaints.
The ISA would be separate from the broadcaster’s internal bullying complaints processes and is already supported by the BFI, BAFTA, BECTU, the PMA and the Casting Director’s Guild.
More information will be made public shortly following the end of a consultation period.
The networks have pledged immediate funding and the next stage is to design the remit, structure and funding arrangements for the ISA, which first emerged last summer in the wake of the allegations of sexual harassment by around 20 women against Kidulthood star Noel Clarke, which he denies and to which he is suing BAFTA, The Guardian Media Group and Condé Nast.
Rabbatts said the ISA will “conduct expert-led investigations where both sides can be heard by an independent panel of skilled investigators, working to the highest standards of legal confidentiality.”
She said the plan will help avoid the “grey space” whereby people raise concerns but not until after a project has wrapped, at which point broadcasters and production companies “no longer have the remit to address them.”
Norbury added: “The UK’s creative industries are rightly recognised as a global superpower and it is incumbent on all of us working in the sector to ensure our work practices and culture are of the highest standards.”
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