New research study announced to examine sexual harassment in UK film and TV

The Screen Industries Growth Network (SIGN) is funding a small-scale pilot study researching sexual harassment in the UK screen industries.

Due to start data collection in January 2023, the study will examine workers’ and students’ recent experiences of sexual harassment in the film and TV industries in the UK. It will also look at approaches to handling sexual harassment from production companies, unions, and other organisations. Interviews will be carried out with people who have experienced sexual harassment or violence at work or study, as well as staff in production companies, unions and higher education institutions who have been involved in addressing sexual harassment.

Dr Anna Bull, a lecturer in Education and Social Justice at the University of York and co-founder and director of The 1752 Group, will conduct the study. She said, ‘There is now a substantial amount of survey data confirming that sexual harassment is a problem in the film and TV industries. But in order to effectively address this issue, we need to go beyond survey data and make visible the variety of ways in which sexual harassment is impacting on people’s lives and careers as well as the ways it is being dealt with in the workplace. That is what this study aims to do.’

Anna has extensive experience carrying out research with survivors of sexual violence and harassment. She has led research reports on sexual misconduct in higher education with the National Union of Students as well as having worked with discrimination law firm McAllister Olivarius to produce guidance for higher education institutions in handling formal reports of sexual harassment. Anna has also carried out research on inequalities in classical music as well as music higher education.

Support organisations

  • Legal advice for women: Rights of Women have a free legal advice helpline for women in England and Wales experiencing sexual harassment at work. If you are in Scotland, the Scottish Women’s Rights Centre can give legal advice if you are experiencing harassment at work.
  • Sexual violence/harassment support for women: Rape Crisis national helpline. You can call anonymously and confidentially to discuss any experience of sexual harassment or sexual violence.
  • Some local Rape Crisis centres offer free counselling or other support services. Find your local Rape Crisis centre.
  • Sexual harassment/violence support for all genders: The Survivors’ Trust also have information about local centres that offer counselling and other support services, including advocacy.
  • Specific industry support: The Film and TV Charity have a 24/7 Support Line on 0800 0540000 to talk through professional or emotional issues. Please note, this is not a specialist sexual harassment service.

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