The BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV Studios and Sky are among 21 organisations jointly committing to address bullying, harassment and inappropriate behaviour in an initiative kick-started by actors’ union Equity.
The Statement of Commitment, published today, is an attempt to “move towards a culture in which everyone working in the TV industry feels able to call out unacceptable behaviour and that nobody is above being challenged: no one is untouchable,” Equity said in a statement.
Representative of each of the organisations met last week to discuss creating safe workplaces and agree ways for individuals to raise concerns.
The signatories pledge to ensure that all scripted productions engage in professional and safe recruitment, auditioning and casting, and for cast and crew to complete anti-bullying and harassment training before they start work.
It also commits producers to have clear ‘respect at work’ policies, including clear and accessible details of how to raise concerns of bullying and harassment – both for victims and for third party observers – and to have a named, known and suitably trained safeguarding contact.
The pledge directly addresses concerns about nudity and simulated sex scenes, mandating an intimacy coordinator (subject to the actors’ agreement) and advance notice in writing, and discussion with actors, about the scope and extent of the scenes to be depicted.
Intimacy coordinators have in recent years become the norm on sets, including the likes of Bridgerton, Sex Education, I May Destroy You and Normal People, and were back in the spotlight this month when actor Sean Bean questioned whether they were necessary.
Equity president Lynda Rooke said: “To establish an inclusive and respectful culture requires actions not just words, and I encourage all those working in this sector to recognise their individual responsibility to report inappropriate behaviour and unite against any pressure to remain silent on these issues."
Other signatories include S4C, Disney, HBO Bro, Warner and Apple TV+ and members bodies such as Pact, Directors UK and The Casting Directors’ Guild.