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Equity's interim report on sexual harassment says auditions must have third party

The full report from Equity's investigation into sexual harassment within the theatre industry will be released in February

Maureen Beattie
© Paul Stuart

Actors' union Equity has released an interim report on the findings of its investigation into sexual harassment.

Their 'agenda for change' released now, ahead of the full report later in February, deems that a third party must always be present in auditions. Casting sessions should include at least one person other than the director/casting director and the actor.

The investigation was launched in November with Maureen Beattie, Equity's vice president, and Christine Payne, Equity's general secretary heading it up.

Other action points on the interim report include challenging drama schools to have robust codes of conduct regarding harassment and investigating the types of Non-Disclosure Agreements which are often part of contracts.

Beattie said: "Sexual harassment has been in the marrow of our industry, but we are going to make it so utterly unacceptable that even the most hardline harassers will refrain from moving in on someone."

As part of the investigation the union is exploring whether the rights of self employed workers can be strengthened and stipulates that agents must acknowledge a duty of care to their clients, while boards are encouraged to do everything 'appropriate to support workers, including recognising the importance of gender balance in improving organisational culture'.