The BFI, BAFTA and over 40 other industry partners are teaming to launch an ‘Action List’ to pro-actively tackle bullying, harassment and racism in the workplace.
As the industry continues to adapt to pandemic-related production disruption, inappropriate conduct remains a key battleground despite the lack of on-set activity.
“The industry has been facing additional pressures [during the pandemic] and that has translated into challenging behaviours in some cases,” Jen Smith, the BFI’s Head of Inclusion, told Deadline.
She added that different ways of working, particularly under Covid safety protocols, have led to increased tensions and in some cases poor conduct. “It’s a pressured environment anyway [being on set], and the pandemic has added further pressures, so this is a good opportunity to say ‘let’s remember, certain behaviours are not acceptable’.”
Tim Hunter, BAFTA’s Director of Learning, Policy and Inclusion, said that there was “definitely a concern” that the industry may have taken a step backward when it came to inclusion, representation and misconduct last year, with energy and focus entirely devoted to addressing pandemic-related difficulties.
“One of the reasons people say they don’t have a policy or procedure in place is because of the high-pressured environment and how quickly they had to crew up and operate. It [tackling bullying, etc] was not necessarily a priority,” he explained. “We’re going to push this up the agenda whenever we can.”
– Ensuring employees know their rights and responsibilities
– Encouraging businesses to adopt company-wide policies to tackle misconduct
– Making sure employers undertake ScreenSkills training to help identify bullying and harassment
– Helping employers to visibly display their commitment to creating an inclusive workplace
– Ensuring that individuals are designated to handle reports of misconduct.
Furthermore, Deadline added the BFI has also appointed Morgana Melvin as full-time Production Inclusion Manager. In the role, she will work across ‘BFI-backed productions to assist with the prevention of bullying, harassment and racism on set.’ The BFI is also now hiring a race equality lead to support the wider work the org is doing across the industry to tackle these topics.