Campaigning for Safe Spaces

Today Equity launches the Safe Spaces campaign: the union’s new initiative to tackle the entertainment industry’s sexual harassment crisis.

Safe Spaces aims to gives members “the confidence to challenge inappropriate behaviour and to report it knowing that the union is always there for them”.

The campaign will promote the union’s harassment helpline, where members can report any incidents or concerns regarding themselves or others, through posters which will be put up in members’ workplaces – including rehearsal spaces, casting suites and green rooms. 

The union have also created a statement to be read out to cast and crew at the beginning of a production’s rehearsal period, which will demonstrate a company’s commitment to creating safe spaces “free of bullying and harassment.”

The statement reads: “Every single one of us working on this project is entitled to work in a safe space: a space free of fear, a space free of bullying and harassment of any kind. We will work together honouring our differences and celebrating the gifts we each bring to the table.

“We will treat one another with politeness and respect at all times and, if we are subjected to or witness bullying and harassment, we will speak out knowing that our voices will be heard and we will be taken seriously. Together we can create a safe space.”

Safe Spaces has been launched with the cast of the Young Vic’s Yerma, which includes Billie Piper and Equity Vice President Maureen Beattie, and the production’s stage managers.

The need for this campaign was first discussed in the union’s Agenda for Change, which was produced following research from Equity’s Sexual Harassment Working Group.

The agenda explains how the union, engagers, agents, casting directors, boards, educators and workplaces must work together to create the culture shift “that is the proper response to the tide of horrifying revelations of sexual harassment”.

You can get through to Equity's Harassment Hotline by dialing 020 7670 0268

Photography by Philip Hartley