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Equity leader Christine Payne says tackling sexual harassment in the entertainment industry raises special problems

TACKLING sexual harassment in industries where permanent work contracts are rare requires more “imagination” on the part of policy-makers and bosses, MPs heard yesterday.

Giving evidence about sexual harassment in the entertainment industry to the Commons women and equalities select committee, Equity general secretary Christine Payne said that many of the 40,000 members of her union, which represents actors, comedians and models, work on cruise ships and in social clubs and shopping centres.

Ms Payne warned that discussion of sexual harassment was in “danger of getting hooked” on more traditional workplaces and employers such as theatres, film studios and television studios.

“There has to be a little more imagination and consideration of that, especially as the spotlight has been very much on the entertainment industry,” she added.

Ms Payne used an example of a performer being “molested on the way to the car park” by an audience member as an example of how venues should take on equal duty of care for entertainers.

Tory MP Philip Davies  asked her if there were any industry leaders in Britain on the same level as disgraced US film-maker Harvey Weinstein who have not been exposed.

She replied: “Yes,” adding that they are “slowly but surely being uncovered.”

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