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A third of theatre workers have experienced sexual harassment at work, a study finds

A THIRD of theatre workers have experienced sexual harassment at work, according to a new study published today.

A study of 1,050 professionals in the sector by the Stage newspaper also found that 43 per cent had experienced bullying.

Theatres have been in the spotlight over harassment after actor and director Kevin Spacey was accused of inappropriate behaviour.

Theatre union Bectu, a sector of Prospect, said the survey pointed to “a pressing need to shine a modern light on employment practice within theatre.”

The union’s assistant national secretary Helen Ryan said: “Employers, with the support and engagement of unions, must do more to tackle the workplace bullies who make the lives of others a misery.

“We hope that all of our members know that if they have an issue with bullying and harassment at work that they can speak to an official in confidence to take advice on the best ways forward.”

Thirty-one per cent of workers surveyed by the paper said they had encountered sexual harassment. Eight per cent said they had been sexually assaulted at work.

But 67 per cent of people who had suffered harassment or bullying did not report it  and no action was taken following four in five sexual assault allegations.

The Old Vic, where Mr Spacey was artistic director between 2004 and 2015, has now created a programme to offer employees a way of sharing concerns about behaviour or workplace culture following an internal investigation.

The theatre has reportedly referred 14 allegations against Mr Spacey to the police.

The Royal Court Theatre in west London has published an industry code of behaviour following sexual harassment allegations against its former artistic director Max Stafford-Clark.

After the behaviour of US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was exposed, the theatre held a day of action at which 150 testimonies were read out.

Current artistic director Vicky Featherstone said Mr Stafford-Clark’s misconduct was just one instance of “a lot of skeletons in the cupboard” at the Royal Court and other theatres.

Theatre professionals also held a silent demonstration outside the National Theatre in November to protest against abuses of power across the industry.


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