TV: A Culture of Abuse?



WELCOME BREAKFAST – 09.30 – 10.30
PANEL DEBATE – 10.30 – 11.30 

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As an unprecedented number of sexual harassment allegations engulfs the creative sectors, a special debate hosted by the Edinburgh International TV Festival and ITN will seek to shine a light on bullying and harassment within British television, and will explore the different ways the industry can tackle this growing issue.

Supported by 5 News, the debate will be hosted by journalist and broadcaster Sian Williams. Joining Sian will be TV presenter Anna Richardson, who settled a libel case with Arnold Schwarzenegger following an alleged groping incident; 5 News editor Rachel Corp, who heads up a female-led newsroom as the UK’s only female editor of a national news service; Darren Childs, chief executive at UKTV, which last year became the first broadcaster to feature in the Sunday Times 100 best companies to work for list, and Dr Afroditi Pina, Senior Lecturer in Forensic Psychology, who specialises in forensic and social psychology that fits within the areas of sexual violence, gender equality and victimisation.

NEWLY ANNOUNCED: Dame Janet Smith, the former High Court Judge who headed up the Savile Inquiry, is to join our line-up of speakers. Smith’s 700-page report in 2016 considered whether practices at the BBC and the “culture of not complaining” resulted in inappropriate conduct going unchallenged– a question which is pertinent again given the recent revelations of power abuse in the wider creative industries.

Expert HR advice will be provided by Karl Burnett, VP Human Resources at A&E Networks and former director of HR at BBC News and Radio.

As well as discussing the wider issues around harassment, the debate will examine the practical steps both organisations and individuals can take to deal with inappropriate behaviour, particularly bullying and intimidation – in the workplace, out of hours and on location.

The event takes place at London’s Soho Theatre on Friday 8th December. Complimentary breakfast will be served from 9.30am, with the debate itself starting at 10.30am.

Sian Williams said: “The abuse of power is one of the most important issues facing society today. We’ve already seen how prevalent and systemic this type of behaviour has been in other creative sectors, so it is vitally important that we now turn the spotlight onto the television industry here in the UK.”   

Editor of 5 News, Rachel Corp said: “This debate ties in with 5 News’s long-running series of reports into everyday harassment. This came out of those worrying stories we’ve all heard from friends and loves ones, and underpins our commitment to making sure female voices are clearly heard in this conversation.”

Festival Director, Lisa Campbell said: “The creative industries are repeatedly falling short when it comes to duty of care to its workforce. It is vital that we keep the debate alive but also that clear measures are introduced to empower individuals to tackle abuses of power.”

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