Harassment and bullying in the theatre industry: special report

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Introduction and analysis Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Useful resources

The past few months have been characterised by a string of harassment and abuse allegations across a wide range of industries, both in the UK and worldwide. This was prompted by the revelations surrounding Hollywood movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, which became a catalyst for further allegations of sexual misconduct, harassment and abuse in the wider entertainment industry, and in theatre.

Following this, The Stage carried out a survey to determine the scale to which harassment and bullying has affected, and continues to affect, theatre and performing arts professionals and to investigate whether there were any parts of the industry particularly hard hit.

It was distributed to a database of registered users of The Stage in November 2017 and was carried out over a 10-day period by 1,755 people with 1,050 completing all key questions.

It collected the data of those who work, have previously worked, or are training to work in theatre, and their experiences of harassment and bullying in a professional environment.

Respondents were asked a series of demographic questions in order to establish categories within the results. This meant the results could identify areas of the industry and groups of people more at risk than others.

The following pages feature analysis based on the answers given by the survey’s respondents, including anonymous anecdotal comments that were submitted alongside the data-focused questions.

Have you personally experienced any form of harassment or bullying in the workplace?

Notes on Graphs

The graphs on the following pages include analysis of a selection of results to two questions in the survey. One asked respondents about their experiences of harassment and bullying at work, left, and the other about their experiences of reporting this behaviour, right.

The graphs, and those on subsequent pages, are based on how a selection of respondents answered these questions, and highlight a number of groups.

When answering the question on their experiences of harassment and bullying, respondents could choose more than one option.

Four roles in the industry are covered in the following analysis – performer, backstage/technical, creative and PR/marketing. These have been chosen as they represent the four largest shares of respondents, however those taking the survey were able to choose from a variety of options.

Respondents indicated whether they were working freelance, as a member of staff or were a student when they encountered harassment, or if it occurred over a period of time in which they performed various roles. Only the first three are included in the following analysis.

It should also be noted that while percentages have been rounded, the bars on the graphs represent the precise number.

Introduction and analysis Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Useful resources

Click here for all The Stage’s coverage of harassment in the theatre industry and advice on who to contact if you or someone you know has been a victim