Welcome to 2018…
The past 12 months have been a giant kick in the teeth for women – from the unearthing of the shocking gender pay gap statistics to the wave of sexual harassment and abuse allegations in recent months, seeing high profile names accused of mistreating women.
A shocking number of women have come forward to accuse Hollywood heavyweights from Harvey Weinstein to Dustin Hoffman of abuse, but through the pain has come power, with women and men unifying to promote the Me Too and Time’s Up campaigns, condemning misconduct and calling for change.
But what is being done to stop such mistreatment? Well, as of today it has been announced that there will be a set of guidelines to help prevent sexual harassment and abuse in the entertainment industry.
The new rules will cover everything from appropriate ways to act at work to the introduction of a support line and the appointment of two people (one male and one female) on each set that are trained to deal with allegations of mistreatment.
Bafta was one of the organisations that pushed for the guidelines to be introduced, ensuring that the British Film Institute will only fund projects that agree to them.
While it is depressing that guidelines are needed to stop women from being abused, it does seem to be a necessity and is being praised by women in the industry from Jodie Whittaker to Gemma Arterton, with actress Emma Watson publicly welcoming the plan.
‘These principles are important because up until recently there were no guidelines,’ explained Emma. ‘There was no protocol for someone that had been sexually harassed in the entertainment industry and I know this to be a fact because I’ve asked for principles, I’ve asked to see guidelines and no one could give them to me.’
She continued: ‘No one could send me – “OK, here’s the protocol that we follow when someone’s had this experience” – which I found shocking.’
‘These principles and guidance are the result of a monumental cross-industry effort in the face of some difficult truths,’ explained Bafta chief executive Amanda Berry. ‘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.’
She continued: ‘It is essential that there is a shared understanding of respectful, inclusive working practices that enable everyone to succeed.’
Time is definitely up.