UK broadcasters have joined forces to help stamp out bullying and harassment in TV by backing a proposed watchdog.
All four PSBs – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 – along with Sky are funding the development of the remit, structure and funding structure of the Independent Standards Authority (ISA).
The ISA has been put together by Creative UK chief executive Caroline Norbury alongside Time’s Up UK and legal firm Fieldfisher, with support from individuals including culture secretary Nadine Dorries and Bafta chair Krishnendu Majumdar.
It aims to protect and support on- and off-air staff and freelancers with advice services, complaints procedures, mediation and investigations and create an open, inclusive culture that avoids concerns coming to light only after production is over.
Time's Up chair Dame Heather Rabbatts said: “It is well known that concerns are often not raised until after film and TV productions have ceased where broadcasters and production companies no longer have remit to address them. In this grey space many suffer in silence.
“Nor is there any process, especially where there are multiple allegations. 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.”
C4 chief executive Alex Mahon said the industry was uniting to help the workforce “be their genuine selves at work and feel safe so that they can progress their careers without fear of being bullied or harassed”.
ITV chief executive Carolyn McCall said that while production companies bear the “primary responsibility” for ensuring people feel fairly treated, respected and included, “it’s clear that the structure of our industry can lead to gaps in support and protection or uncertainty about how to raise issues”.