Over the last few years, there have been a succession of creative industry and theatre personnel who have been publicly accused of inappropriate behaviour in working environments including bullying, sexual harassment and racism. The volume of complaints most vividly came to prominence in 2017/18 during the #MeToo Movement, but revelations continue to appear up to the present day. More recently accusations of systemic racism have been revealed in the June 2021 publication of ‘Barbican Stories’, and the issues around toxic workplaces in the creative industries were recently highlighted in The Guardian.
Collectively these accusations reveal a sector that still needs guidance in what appropriate behaviour looks like, what positive welcoming working cultures look like, and clarification of organisations’ responsibilities in relation to the 2010 Equality Act. The Presidents of SOLT and UK Theatre have identified this work as a priority for our organisations and the sector.
This work complements the other work that SOLT/UK Theatre are doing around developing the sector workforce and around diversity and inclusion, and all these initiatives will be worked on concurrently. This work will also be dovetailed with the work the creative industries are doing with government on Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination, as outlined in this recent article in The Stage.