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UK government hosts roundtable to discuss tackling bullying, harassment and discrimination in the creative industries

By | Published on Wednesday 30 June 2021

Rebecca Ferguson

UK culture minister Caroline Dinenage yesterday confirmed that she had hosted a roundtable discussion focused on bullying, harassment and discrimination within the British creative industries, and how those industries can tackle and end such conduct.

The discussion was prompted by a previous meeting between ministers at the UK’s Department For Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and singer, songwriter and former ‘X Factor’ runner-up Rebecca Ferguson, who has made numerous posts to social media in recent months criticising music industry practices, while also calling for managers and agents in the entertainment industry to be regulated.

The roundtable involved representatives from the music, fashion, film and TV industries.

DCMS says that those present committed to do more to prevent bullying, harassment and discrimination from occurring within the creative industries through various cross-sector initiatives; to monitor the effectiveness of any such initiatives; and to protect those within the business who are victims of bullying, harassment or discrimination.

The Creative Industries Federation has taken responsibility for coordinating these initiatives.

Commenting on the discussion, Dinenage told reporters: “The issue of bullying, harassment and discrimination in the creative industries is deeply concerning. Everyone has the right to feel safe at work, whatever industry they are in. I’m pleased to have met with leading representatives from across the creative industries to underline the duty of care that is owed to all those who work in these sectors. Our ongoing cross-industry plan of action will help improve support for those facing these issues”.

“Today we have taken positive steps on the path to ensure no one feels bullied, harassed or discriminated against in the creative industries”, she added. “I look forward to hearing about progress made by the sectors in the coming weeks”.

Meanwhile, Creative Industries Federation CEO Caroline Norbury stated: “Every person working in the creative industries should be able to do their job with the expectation that they will not face bullying, harassment or discrimination. Yet, very sadly, there are still situations within our sector where that is simply not the case”.

“The creative industries have immense power to inspire, bring joy, and transform lives for the better, so it is horrifying that some creative workers are still subject to behaviour that is the complete antithesis of this”, she went on. “I look forward to working with the government and colleagues across the sector to ensure that the creative industries provide a safe working environment for everyone”.