Bullying and Harassment panel discussion at Sheffield Doc/Fest

Heather attended an interesting and very relevant panel discussion at Sheffield Doc Fest this year: “Times Up: The Industry Response to Bullying & Harassment”. Directors UK, led the panel to explore the new initiatives that are aiming to bring about much-needed change, and listen to additional ideas from the audience for creating the safest work environments.

Taking part in the panel:

Ali Bailey, Directors UK’s own Head of Campaigns

Tim Hunter, Head of Learning and Events at BAFTA

Kelly Webb-Lamb, Deputy Director of Programmes & Head of Popular Factual at Channel 4

Billie Porter, Journalist and Filmmaker

Natasha Dack, Co-Managing Director at Tigerlily Films

Fiona Campbell, Executive Producer of Current Affairs at BBC

Heather Iliffe, Agent at Blueberry shares;

“Tim Hunter spoke about BAFTA’S efforts to advise on ways to hit back against bullies and harassment.  He mentioned that in large corporations like the BBC, people were trained in how to deal with mental health issues. These people would wear a certain coloured lanyard around their neck so they were easily identifiable to someone needing to talk. I thought this was a fantastic idea as a person can feel vulnerable if they are in close proximity to one of their own team members, not wanting to make situations worse. This way someone can pick and choose who they’d like to speak to.”

“I asked about how freelancers can be protected in cases of bullying and harassment, as it seems measures are being put into place for full time staff, but this industry has a huge amount of people moving around productions.  Asking about how agencies like Blueberry can help with getting the word out; how people should conduct themselves and what they can do if they experience harassment. The panel said that they had discussed this before and want to help vocalise the subject of what we as an industry can do to provide access to helpful materials, helplines or conversations with support groups”

Directors UK have launched a Bullying and Harassment handbook for Screen Directors, which they’ve kindly made free to download from their website.   The content could apply to most people within the film and television industry, we hope that you find it useful.  

They also recommended the following resources;

Directors UK are looking for more ideas to keep this discussion open, and we are keen to participate, if you’re interested too and have views to share, get in touch with [email protected]