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Gemma Arterton and Emma Watson back campaign to stamp out harassment in film and TV

Gemma Arterton. Photo: Dave Benett Gemma Arterton. Photo: Dave Benett
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Actors Emma Watson and Gemma Arterton are backing a new campaign to promote a zero-tolerance approach to bullying and harassment in the entertainment industry.

Led by the BFI in association with bodies such as BECTU, Equity and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, the campaign includes a new set of eight principles that aim to tackling harassment in the screen industries.

The principles, which employers, employees and freelancers will be expected to adhere to, include recognising that harassment is unlawful, ensuring processes are in place to to report and investigate abuse and acknowledging that harassment can have “significant adverse impacts” on the long-term health of affected people.

They aim to “prohibit behaviour that may cause harm or detriment to individuals” and follow allegations of harassment and abuse from many actors working in film and television since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke.

All employees and workers will be given a copy of the principles with their contract and asked to sign a declaration to uphold them.

Watson said the principles had been developed by people “who understand the subtleties of the hierarchy” on sets.

“I hope these principles become second nature for everyone. they are not just about protecting individuals but are also an important step in embracing a greater diversity of voices,” she added.

The principles will be embedded into the BFI’s diversity standards. BFI-funded initiatives have to commit to the standards.

BECTU head Gerry Morrissey said the union would help “ensure they are understood and upheld”.

Writers’ Guild president Olivia Hetreed said the principles were a “wake-up call to perpetuators and hope for the victimised”.

Other actors backing the initiative are Jodie Whittaker and Gemma Chan.

The theatre industry has also begun to address harassment in the sector, with the Royal Court issuing a code of conduct, and Equity recently releasing an interim report into harassment.

In survey conducted by The Stage, more than 40% of theatre professionals and students polled said they had been bullied, while one in three had experienced sexual harassment.

Exclusive: Study reveals extent of harassment in theatre

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