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Clampdown on sexual harassment in entertainment industry gains support of TUC

Efforts to tackle sexual harassment in the entertainment industry are to be ramped up, after Equity won major support for a campaign to change the law and provide better protection for people in the sector.

Equity president Maureen Beattie said standards and expectations of behaviour in the entertainment industry had fallen “far short of what is acceptable”.

Speaking to the Trades Union Congress, where she delivered a motion backed by the Musicians’ Union, Beattie highlighted work carried out by Equity’s sexual harassment working group, which she said had heard of the “every day abuse” suffered by members.

She also referenced a member who had been subject to “sustained harassment and discrimination” by a touring company.

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“For all the others like that young woman we need your support as the TUC to change the legal framework governing harassment and discrimination in this country,” she added.

Passed unanimously, the motion called on congress to “redouble its efforts to bring change to the law” through areas such as investigating the “use of non-disclosure agreements”, which Equity said sometimes prevented its members from making public anything that happens in the casting or production process.

The motion also said the law should be changed to allow for an extension on the current time limit permitted to lodge a claim of discrimination, from three months to at least six.