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    U.K. to Introduce Body to Address Harassment in Creative Industries – The Music news

    Britain will launch a new, independent standards body to help fight bullying and harassment in the creative industries that will be ready starting next year, Lucy Frazer, U.K. secretary of state for digital, culture, media and sport, announced Friday.

    The body, the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA), is intended as an authority where concerns over behavior can be raised and investigated confidentially. Frazer said the CIISA will be up and running and ready to take cases from next year.

    The CIISA will bring together stakeholders from the U.K.’s film, television, music and theater sectors. Several well-known British creatives, including actors Keira Knightley, Stephen Graham, Sule Remi, Ruth Wilson, Varada Sethu and Naomie Harris, singer Rebecca Ferguson, Chariots of Fire director David Puttnam and Bond producer Barbara Broccoli, joined Frazer in support of the new independent authority.

    “I can’t tell you how many times in the last 20 years of my career in this industry that I would have loved to have an objective outside body that I could go to for advice, that I could go to for mediation and I could go to, in the very extreme circumstances, that you might need some outside body to hold people accountable for the bad behavior or bad practices that sometimes happen on our sets,” said Wilson. “We need it and it will be invaluable, and I know it will become the blueprint across the globe for creative industries throughout the world, because there is no such thing at the moment like CIISA.”

    “There is an opportunity to change the way creatives are treated in our country; by supporting this you are making history,” added Ferguson. “By supporting CIISA you are making our industry safer and impacting people’s lives in a very positive way.”

    All U.K. broadcasters are backing the new authority, with the BBC’s director general Tim Davie calling the CIISA “a force for good across the entire industry. We all need to do everything we can to create an industry where everyone feels totally safe to do their best work.”

    The CIISA has been in planning for several years. Time’s Up U.K. called for the independent standards authority back in 2021 in the wake of various scandals over sexual misconduct and bullying within the U.K. industry, and initiated and provided funding for the body, with former BFI exec Jen Smith as its interim CEO. But efforts to make the CIISA a reality have been given a new urgency with recent allegations against British comedian and actor Russell Brand. In a joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches, four women have come forward with allegations of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse against Brand between 2006 and 2013, all of which he has denied.

    “The CIISA has one clear purpose, to make the creative industries a safer working environment for our talented colleagues who make the film, TV, music and theatre that we all love and enjoy,” said Smith. “There is overwhelming evidence for the need for CIISA and bringing collective accountability to our sector. The more quickly others join us, the more quickly we will have an independent body in place to support the whole ecosystem of the creative industries.”

    Added Frazer: “We want to maximize the potential of our creative industries to create growth and jobs across the country. Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy a creative career, while feeling safe and working in a professional environment. It’s important that industry comes together to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination, so Britain’s creative sectors remain some of the best in the world to be a part of.”

    To promote the CIISA, the group produced two short films together with Ridley Scott Associates and editor Steph McAuley with testimonies from British talents in support of the new authority.

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