U.K. broadcasters ITV, Sky, BBC, Channel 4, and Channel 5 are financially backing the Creative U.K. and U.K. Time’s Up-led proposal for the creation of an Independent Standards Authority (ISA) to tackle bullying and harassment.
The proposals for the ISA are designed to ensure that anyone who has suffered abuse, harassment and bullying can receive confidential advice, mediation and investigation into complaints. The ISA is already supported by the BFI, BAFTA, BECTU, the PMA and the Casting Director’s Guild. In May, top stars Keira Knightley and Naomie Harris voiced their support for the ISA.
Following a consultation period, the next stage, which will be funded by the creative industries, is to design the remit, structure and funding arrangements for the ISA.
Heather Rabbatts, chair, Time’s Up U.K., said: “It is well known that concerns are often not raised until after film and TV productions have ceased where broadcasters and production companies no longer have remit to address them. In this grey space many suffer in silence. Nor is there any process, especially where there are multiple allegations. The ISA will conduct expert led investigations where both sides can be heard by an independent panel of skilled investigators working to the highest standards of legal confidentiality.”
Caroline Norbury, chief executive, Creative U.K., said: “The ISA will be one of the ways we ensure that those who are the most vulnerable in our industry are supported and, that those with the most power to make change, have the tools and infrastructure to facilitate that change.”
Carolyn McCall, CEO, ITV, said: “The primary responsibility for that has to be with the production companies that make our shows but it’s clear that the structure of our industry can lead to gaps in support and protection or uncertainty about how to raise issues. ITV is supporting the establishment of the ISA to ensure these gaps are filled and that everyone’s voice is heard.”
Alex Mahon, Chief Executive, Channel 4, said: “The proposal to establish an Independent Standards Agency is a positive to step towards ensuring that the creative industry collectively takes responsibility to eradicate bullying and harassment once and for all.”
Stephen van Rooyen, executive VP and CEO, U.K. and Europe, Sky, said: “We are keen to play our part alongside our U.K. broadcaster partners to support and help shape the formation of the ISA, ensuring we do everything in our power to stamp out bullying and harassment and raise standards across our industry.”
Ben Frow, Channel 5 chief content officer, said: “We recognize the industry as a whole can and should do more, and so we are supportive of the work to establish an Independent Standards Authority.”
Tim Davie, BBC director-general, added: “It is vital we work together across the industry to end all forms of inappropriate behaviour and we support the next stage of developing the Independent Standards Authority.”