Magazine article Variety

Speak Up Aims to Aid in Battle against Sexual Abuse in Biz

Magazine article Variety

Speak Up Aims to Aid in Battle against Sexual Abuse in Biz

Article excerpt

AFTER #METOO IN THE U.S., the European film business is making its voice heard on harassment, with the launch in Berlin on Saturday of a region-wide initiative called Speak Up. The plan is to offer a reporting service for victims and to clamp down on abuse in the workplace and - fittingly, given the Berlinale launch-pad - at festivals.

Polish director Malgorzata Szumowska, who has "Mug" in competition at Berlin, unveiled Speak Up to a raucous reception in Berlin. "The European film industry has decided to unite under the banner of Speak Up," she said. "We aim to offer a clear lead in ensuring sexual harassment and abuse are not tolerated in the work environment, whether it be offices or in the markets and festivals."

She said that there was systemic abuse in the workplace and that the industry needed new policies, procedures and training on harassment and abuse. In practical terms, Speak Up will offer an email helpline service for people who have complaints; a lawyer will evaluate the complaints pro bono and establish the next steps. …

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