A survey of Bectu members for the BBC File on 4 programme has revealed widespread bullying and sexual harassment in the film and TV industry, with some 50% of those not reporting instances not doing so through fear of blacklisting.
1,400 Bectu members working in the screen industries recently took part in the survey which will form the basis of the File on 4 programme, looking at how widespread sexual harassment and abuse is in the film and TV industries.
The research has been conducted following numerous news stories about problems in the industry and an open letter, signed by 2,000 workers saying enough is enough.
The survey found that almost three in four report experiencing bullying, sexual harassment or abuse as part of their jobs. More than two thirds of those who say they experienced abuse or harassment did not report the incident to any authority. Half of those who did not report say it was because they were scared of being blacklisted. More than 90% of those who report some form of abuse were bullied. More than a quarter of victims – 282 – say they were sexually abused or harassed. There are 44 reports of sexual assault, and 13 of rape
Commenting on the programme to be aired this evening, head of Bectu Philippa Childs said: “The industry needs to respond better, quite clearly. I think the big problem for the film and TV industry is it relies so heavily on freelancers who feel very vulnerable in terms of their careers. They have to weigh up when they experience bad behaviour on set, whether or not they want to tell people about what’s happened to them, whether they want to report.”
On the programme, Philippa and others will go into more detail on what the industry needs to do to break the cycle and actually achieve change for workers.
Bectu is calling for three steps in order to deal with the widespread problem of bullying, sexual harassment and abuse in the industry.
- Safeguarding Officers on all productions so that victims have someone they can speak to quickly and confidentially in order to address problems immediately.
- A clear policy and process for complaints across the industry.
- The establishment of an external reporting body to look at historical complaints and to deal with problems that are not resolved by the first two steps.
Bectu is also reviewing its own procedures on approaching cases of sexual and non-sexual bullying, harassment and abuse to ensure that it always give the best possible advice to members.
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