It’s no secret that the film, television, and entertainment industries all over the world have a deep-set culture of workplace sexual harassment, bullying, and discrimination. A huge detriment to the eradication of these serious issues is the shame and humiliation that plague people who suffer these abuses which discourage them from speaking out, as well as people not fully understanding their rights.
Film producer Kate Wilson, Victoria director Delyth Thomas, and the My Mad Fat Diary producer Jules Hussey, all of whom have first-hand experience of bullying and misconduct within the entertainment industry, have decided to launch an app that will address these problems in the UK film and TV industry head-on.
The soon-to-be-launched app, called “Call It!”, was motivated by the Guardian’s investigation into the actor and producer Noel Clarke earlier in the year.
The app allows film and TV industry workers to anonymously provide top-level reports of incidents of misconduct to executives or senior producers on their sets.
“By alerting producers that this is happening, it gives them the opportunity to go and talk to the cast and crew and remind them that there is a zero-tolerance approach, and make sure that training is being provided if reports keep coming through,” explains Wilson.
The reports will be stored in a dashboard on the app, which lets executives track the mood and well-being of their teams in real-time, meaning that they have no excuse to turn a blind eye. Instead, the information will “empower them to take action where necessary,” Wilson adds.
The app will not only encourage executives to act but will provide support and information for those reporting misconduct. For example, a woman reporting sexual harassment would receive information on emergency services if a criminal incident took place, and will also be referred to Time’s Up UK, the anti-harassment organization.
They will also be directed to their employer’s specific workplace policies and be provided with the contact details of individuals they could email if they want to make an official complaint.
“We cannot force individuals to make reports, but we can make sure that information is available should they need it, so that they know what their rights are,” says Wilson.
The app’s development was made possible by donations from the Film and TV Charity, Sara Putt Associates, and Directors UK, along with private donations. Hull-based developers Sauce built the app, which is being piloted and trialed by various UK-based production and post-production companies, TV productions, and feature films, and is set to launch across the UK by the end of this year.
“The app is not a substitute for being a good producer or leader. It’s a facilitator,” Wilson continues. “It signposts to resources. It doesn’t solve the problem. We need to have humans solving these problems, ultimately.”