BBC updates guidelines for on set sexual harassment and bullying

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The BBC has updated its workplace guidelines (Picture: Vuk Valcic/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The BBC has updated its guidelines for dealing with sexual harassment and bullying in the wake of ‘unacceptable’ behaviour in the industry.

In recent months, there have been a number of allegations of inappropriate behaviour in the UK television industry, including 20 women accusing Noel Clarke of harassment, sexual misconduct and bullying.

Bulletproof star Clarke has ‘vehemently’ denied allegations of sexual misconduct and criminal wrongdoing.

In addition, John Barrowman admitted to taking part in ‘tomfoolery’ on the set of BBC shows Doctor Who and Torchwood, after it emerged he exposed himself on set, but stressed it was never intended to be sexual in nature.

In an email memo published by Deadline and sent to independent production companies working on BBC commissions, BBC chief content officer Charlotte Moore advised senior figures of the new updates to their guidance on how to ‘bring about a consistent standard of best practice across all our productions’.

Moore wrote: ‘Like you, we find the recent revelations of bullying and sexual harassment within our industry totally unacceptable.’

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The new guidelines state that all producers must have a ‘suitable policy in place that covers respect at work’ before a commission, and that it must include processes on how workers can raise complaints and concerns.

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Noel Clarke has denied the allegations against him (Picture: Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)

All productions must have a clearly named and signposted senior safeguarding contact, while all call sheers should include contact details for support helplines, safeguarding contacts and whistle blowing lines.

Prior to production commencing, all cast and crew must complete anti-bullying and anti-harassment training, and intimacy coaches should be provided for any filming of scenes ‘of an intimate nature’.

Moore added that the production’s BBC commissioning editor or genre director should be contacted as soon as possible if there are ‘serious concerns about behaviour on a production for the BBC’.

She stated that the BBC is also ‘working with employers and organisations across the industry to implement broader measures to prevent unacceptable behaviours’ in the long-term.

New shows commissioned and recently announced by the BBC include series two of A Very British Scandal starring Claire Foy, six-part thriller The Tourist starring Jamie Dornan, and the adaptation of the JP Delaney bestseller The Girl Before, starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw.

The memo stated that any shows already in production should implement the new guidelines ‘where practical’.

Metro.co.uk has contacted the BBC for further comment.


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