Irish Film Board introduce 'contractual obligations' in wake of harrassment claims in entertainment industry

The board of Bord Scannán na hÉireann has spoken out against sexual harrassment in the entertainment industry.

The board added it "stands in solidarity" with the victims of abuse.

"Following the recent allegations of sexual harassment and the abuses of power within the worldwide entertainment industries and in Ireland, Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) unreservedly condemns such behaviour," said Annie Doona, Chair of the IFB.

"For many, the creative arts in general — and filmmaking in particular — exist as a space of creativity and empowerment and we are deeply saddened to learn that for some people, this has not been the case.

"The IFB not only condemns these dangerous manifestations of power, but stands in solidarity with the victims.

"We admire their courage and bravery immensely and we thank them for using their voices in such a powerful manner during an extremely difficult time.

"At the IFB, while we place diversity, inclusion and gender equality at the heart of what we do and who we are, we recognise that we are now at a crucial tipping point, where robust and definitive action is needed to exact real and lasting change."

The IFB board will work with Minister Heather Humphries and the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to create "a safe working environment and culture" and say they will be asking those who work with and for them to sign a contract to implement their 'Dignity at Work' policy.

"At the IFB, we have a comprehensive Dignity at Work policy and we have always been committed to providing a work environment free from bullying and harassment of any kind.

"While this policy extends to everyone involved in our work — whether they are employees or clients — as we are committed to being a leading voice and a guiding light for the industry, we must endeavour to not only lead by example, but to take an active role in an industry-wide shift in perspective.

"With that in mind, the IFB will be implementing specific contractual obligations on all those to whom it provides production funding to fully implement the Dignity at Work policy.

"We will be working with producers so that this will be in place in the work environment for film productions, including on sets, in studios, on location and in production offices; ensuring that bullying, sexual harassment and abuse of power will not be tolerated."


By Denise O’Donoghue

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