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Equity to establish working group to combat harassment

Equity general secretary Christine Payne. Photo: Philip Hartley
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Equity is to establish a working group to gather personal testimonies from actors and other theatre staff who have suffered sexual harassment, following the recent revelations about abuse in the entertainment industry.

Equity general secretary Christine Payne confirmed the plans in an opinion piece written for the Morning Star, in which she said the union would be reaching out to both men and women as well as black, Asian and minority ethnic, LGBT+ and disabled members.

Payne added that the working group was being created in response to the “demand from members” to report both historical and recent allegations.

Last month, following the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Equity released a statement on bullying and harassment, pledging to “challenge employers who abuse our members”.

The union has now revealed it will work with campaign groups such as Equal Representation for Actresses and Women@RADA to “amplify” and “identify” initiatives combatting harassment.

Later this year the results from the working group will be presented to industry employers to call for action around creating “measures to prevent poor practice”.

Payne said: “This is a key moment for the industry to harness the energy generated by the current furore and seize the opportunity to make changes that can eliminate bad practice.

“We will do all that we can to ensure that the statements that have been made by those with power in our industry are followed up with concrete and real action that will bring about the radical change needed to make our industry safer for all creative workers.”

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