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UK screen industries back "zero-tolerance guidance" on harassment and abuse

Free 24/7 support hotline under development to help those affected by bullying and harassment

The UK screen industries have today announced eight core principles to tackling harassment and abuse across games, film, and television.

Working with organisations including guilds, unions, industry member bodies, and key agencies along with employees and freelancers, the "zero-tolerance guidance" has been specifically tailored to the British screen industries in response to the "urgent and systemic issues" which have come to the fore in recent months.

According to a statement from the British Film Institute, the set of eight Principles cover a shared responsibility to respect others, the adoption of a zero tolerance approach to bullying and harassment, adherence to the laws around equality and health and safety, protection of victims and witnesses, respecting confidentiality, and ensuring that rigorous processes are in place for reporting and underlining the value of inclusivity.

BAFTA chief executive Amanda Berry described the principles as "a monumental cross-industry effort in the face of some difficult truths".

She added: "BAFTA is committed to promoting excellence and creative collaboration in film, games and television, and we believe that everyone has the right to work in a safe professional environment. It is essential that there is a shared understanding of respectful, inclusive working practices that enable everyone to succeed."

Specific measures will be recommended across the games, TV, and film businesses, such as the training of appointed staff in the workplace to handle allegations and ensure individual rights are protected.

Additionally, a Film and Television Support Line is currently being developed by the Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund in partnership with the Production Guild and the BFI. It is scheduled to launch in April this year.

Speaking with, a spokesperson from the CTBF confirmed the support line would also facilitate members from the games industry.

The free, 24/7 support line has been created as an industry-wide source of independent and confidential help for people affected by issues ranging from bully and harassment, through to mental health support and legal advice.

“The guidance and principles are a great starting point and give clarity on what is acceptable and what is not," said Dr Jo Twist, CEO of Ukie and BAFTA Games Committee member.

"They are of course a work in progress and collectively we need to make sure they are iterated and improved wherever possible to fit the needs of individuals and businesses across screen industries - of which games are a critical part. The guidance and principles have been workshopped across the sectors, including games, and they give practical guidance based on common sense, common law and basic common decency.”

In order to ensure the guidance is fit for purpose, it will be reviewed every six months and altered accordingly. The guidance as it currently stands can be found here.

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Ivy Taylor: Ivy joined in 2017 having previously worked as a regional journalist, and a political campaigns manager before that. They are also one of the UK's foremost Sonic the Hedgehog apologists.
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