Harassment of any kind in the workplace is totally unacceptable—and AMPAG is deeply concerned about the incidents and allegations that have recently come to light in the media, entertainment and arts industries.
We condemn any harassment or act that demeans or causes individuals to feel bullied or unsafe. We fully support all arts boards and executives in ensuring that best practice policies and practices are in place and regularly reviewed. Similarly, robust and transparent procedures are necessary to adequately and comprehensively support people coming forward to report past incidents.
The performing arts rely on the talent, generosity and creative spirit of the people who have chosen this path as their life. We value and admire their contribution to our lives and will work with our own members and the broader arts sector to ensure we offer safe and fair creative working environments.
AMPAG is also speaking to the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Commissioner and Human Rights Commission to determine what additional advice and support they can bring to the process.
We welcome and endorse the statement issued by the Confederation of Australian State Theatres (CAST) on 3 November 2017. It said in part:
In response to incidents and allegations in the broader entertainment industry both here and overseas, we stand together to say that sexual harassment and abuse in any form is unacceptable.
We offer our unwavering support to the courageous people that have already come forward, and to any victims who have not yet had their stories heard—we are here for you.
CAST companies are committed to providing safe theatres and workplaces that are free from harassment and abuse. We are focused on continually improving physical and emotional safety. We feel it is our responsibility to remove the stigma that can be felt by victims, and to encourage them with confidence to initiate formal complaint proceedings, and to seek appropriate counselling services and support.
CAST companies are committed to ensuring that our theatres and spaces are safe for everyone. The wellbeing of those who work for us is of utmost importance.