UK Time’s Up, the British brand of the U.S.-based anti-harassment and assault organization, has created the Independent Standards Authority (ISA) to address bullying and harassment in UK entertainment.
British actresses Keira Knightley and Naomie Harris have spoken out about their support for the organization, which develops a framework in collaboration with law firm Fieldfisher to protect freelancers, self-employed workers, and those on short-term contracts.
“For anyone to fulfill their creative potential there cannot be fear or disrespect of any kind,” Knightley said in a press statement via Deadline. “We are all entitled to work in safe, respectful spaces where dignity for all is upheld. I believe the ISA is an important step in helping to achieve this.”
“No Time to Die” actress Harris added, “No one should go to work fearful of harassment, bullying and abuse. For anyone to have their voice and reach their full potential, where we work must be safe and respectful. I believe the ISA is an important step in helping to achieve this.”
Both Knightley and Harris have come forward about enduring harassment.
“Literally, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been [sexually harassed], in some way, whether it’s being flashed at, or groped, or some guy saying they’re going to slit your throat, or punching you in the face, or whatever it is, everybody has,” Knightley previously told Harper’s Bazaar last year.
Harris recently revealed that an unnamed actor groped her while they read their lines during an audition and that the film’s director and casting director both did nothing to stop it. Now, because of #MeToo, Harris said that “men know that they absolutely cannot get away with things now that they wouldn’t even have thought about before.”
UK Time’s UP Chair Heather Rabbatts called the formation of the IAS a “historic moment for the film and television industry to create a new body, which will provide a just process for complainants and for those accused, to drive accountability and integrity.”
The new welfare standards are “crucial in the fight to eradicate unacceptable behavior and support safe, respectful and dignified working conditions for all,” Rabbatts continued.
In 2017, UK Time’s Up first collaborated with the BFI and BAFTA to develop guidelines against bullying and harassment. Creative UK then agreed to a plan of action and began discussions with representatives from the music, TV, film, theatre, advertising, video games, and fashion sectors. The organization is now working with IAS to meet with different media stakeholders over the latest proposal.