Actresses urge creative industries to fund bullying and harassment watchdog

Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley are among the famous faces who have signed a letter urging the creative industries to support an independent body planning to tackle bullying and harassment in the sector.

The open letter calls for firms to make their “final financial commitment” to the creation of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA), which hopes to “uphold and improve standards of behaviour” in the industry.

Oscar-winning director Emerald Fennell, Cabaret star Cara Delevigne, Eternals actress Gemma Chan and Skyfall’s Naomie Harris were also among the 25 stars who added their names to the letter.

“We are calling on you to make your final commitment to the creation of CIISA, the new independent standards authority designed to keep our creative industries safe and to secure your support to this essential part of the ecosystem that is currently missing”, the letter said.

“The full financial ask is now out, and so we ask you finally to turn this idea into reality.”

It added that many within the music, film and TV industry would have “loved” an “objective outside body” they could go to for advice or mediation when someone needs to be held accountable for the “bad behaviour or bad practices” that can occur behind the scenes.

“CIISA recognises that not everything can be solved with just one intervention but as bullying and harassment claims in the industry continue abound, we believe it is a very necessary part of a range of interventions driving for much-needed change”, the letter added.

UK premiere of Charlotte – Jewish Film Festival, London
Keira Knightley (Suzan Moore/PA)

The stars also said they hope the watchdog will become “the blueprint across the globe for keeping our creative industries safe”.

Major British broadcasters – ITV, Sky, BBC, Channel 4, and Channel 5 – have already made initial payments to support CIISA.

The idea for the watchdog was developed by Time’s Up UK in 2021 in the wake of serious allegations coming to light within the creative industries in recent years.

The body plans to tackle issues within the creative industries by providing services including immediate advice, mediation, investigations, early dispute resolution and support navigating the criminal justice system for those affected.

It also hopes to use the learning from investigations, trends and data, alongside the sector sharing expertise with one another, to prevent future issues.