Keira Knightley and Naomie Harris back calls for UK anti-harassment authority

·2-min read

Keira Knightley and Naomie Harris have joined calls for the creation of an Independent Standards Authority (ISA) to address bullying and harassment in the entertainment industry.

The body would conduct investigations within the UK sector, offer mediation to survivors who do not want a formal investigation, and help shape good practice.

Backers say it would help protect freelancers, self-employed workers and those on short term or informal contracts.

The idea was proposed by the anti-harassment and bullying campaign group UK Time’s Up, which was launched at the Baftas in February 2018.

Representatives of the group and not-for-profit organisation Creative UK are consulting with different areas of the entertainment and arts industries including music, TV, film, theatre and fashion.

Knightley said: “For anyone to fulfil their creative potential there cannot be fear or disrespect of any kind. We are all entitled to work in safe, respectful spaces where dignity for all is upheld. I believe the ISA is an important step in helping to achieve this.”

Bond star Harris said: “No one should go to work fearful of harassment, bullying and abuse. For anyone to have their voice and reach their full potential, where we work must be safe and respectful. I believe the ISA is an important step in helping to achieve this.”

Both actreses have previously spoken publicly about experiencing sexual assault or harassment.

No Time To Die Royal World Premiere – London
Naomie Harris (Ian West/PA)

The board of UK Time’s Up said the proposal for an ISA “will seek to close these gaps and offer a confidential space for these survivors not only to offer advice and mediation when requested, but also for the first-time, accountability”.

It added: “It is important to emphasise that the ISA in no way seeks to replace the good practice and procedures already out there, rather it will seek to complement them and ensure that everyone’s voices can be heard.

“As an industry we need to work together to stamp out these toxic practices, support one another, share learning and never stop moving the industry forward to a future with solid foundations of good practice.”

Bafta chairman Krishnendu Majumdar and Philippa Childs, head of broadcasting union Bectu, have both backed the proposal.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, who attended an industry round table in January, is also supportive of a push for action.

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