Article: We need to talk about harassment

Tyneside Cinema

Experiencing harassment and bullying are some of the most difficult situations a person can face in the workplace. No workplace is immune to these issues as highlighted this week.  

Below are some resources and practical examples of how to tackle and respond effectively to harassment for organisations and individuals but first some context.

In response to a number of reports concerning HR processes and staff welfare at Tyneside Cinema, the BFI has asked Tyneside Cinema to temporarily step back from its leadership role at Film Hub North. These reports have also prompted an independent review into the working culture at Tyneside Cinema.  

Here is Tyneside Cinema board’s statement in response (1st July.) 

Film Hub North issued a statement on 1st July regarding this temporary change to Hub leadership which you can read an extract of below and in full here.

Film culture should be inclusive, welcoming and safe. At Film Hub North, we work to make this a reality through our audience development activity via the BFI Film Audience Network and our talent development activity via BFI NETWORK. These efforts are informed by the principles and guidance for preventing bullying and harassment in the screen industries commissioned by the BFI and supported by organisations across the UK. We encourage all screen industry employers to review these documents for more information on their obligation to provide a safe working environment and advice on how to achieve this. We also encourage all screen industry employees to review these documents for further information regarding their rights to safety, dignity and respect.

Ben Luxford, BFI’s Head of UK Audiences issued the following statement today:  

As a major funder of Tyneside Cinema, we are taking the recent allegations on social media extremely seriously. Our concern is first and foremost with anyone who has experienced abuse, and the bravery it takes to confront abuse and speak out. Nobody should feel unsafe in their workplace, and we expect all our partners to uphold this essential principle, underlined in the guidance and principles we drew up with BAFTA and partners across the industry to tackle and prevent bullying and harassment in the screen industries. 

In our position as funder, we want to ensure this matter is being dealt with in a sensitive, responsible and timely manner; that any allegations made are fully and thoroughly investigated, and that Tyneside’s duty of care to their employees has been – and continues to be – their priority. We have been explicitly clear with Tyneside that we expect a fully transparent and robust independent enquiry, and if we find any of their processes to have been lacking, we will address that with them as a matter of urgency and take decisive action if necessary. Until the enquiry is concluded, we have asked Tyneside Cinema to temporarily step back from its role in the leadership of Film Hub North, including current line management responsibilities.

In 2018, a new set of principles and zero-tolerance guidance was published by organisations across the film, television and games industries in response to urgent and systemic issues. The guidance was developed by the BFI in partnership with BAFTA and in consultation with organisations including guilds, unions, industry member bodies and key agencies as well as employees and freelancers across all roles.  

All screen industry employees are encouraged to review these documents for further information regarding their rights to safety, dignity and respect:

It’s also worth highlighting that all UK employers have a duty of care to protect their workers and will be legally liable for sexual harassment in the workplace if they have not taken reasonable steps to prevent it. 



The following resources offer practical examples of how to tackle and respond effectively to harassment for organisations and individuals:

For venues in Northern Ireland:


The following services will provide treatment or support, and can refer you to another service if you need more specialist help:  

  • The Film and TV Charity Support Line on 0800 054 0000 open 24/7 and free live chat service.
  • Victim Support freephone helpline on 0808 168 9111 open 24/7 and free live chat service.
  • The Survivors Trust on 08088 010 818 or information, advice or emotional support, free helpline (for opening hours see online – note that there will be male advisors on Thursday mornings)
  • Survivors UK on 02035983898 and live chat service for male victims of sexual assault (12:00 – 20:00 Monday – Sunday)
  • Rape Crisis national freephone helpline on 0808 802 9999 (12-2.30pm and 7-9.30pm every day of the year) 
  • Galop anti-violence charity are trans inclusive and are welcoming of anyone from the LGBT+ community if you are a victim of sexual violence, hate crime or domestic abuse. 
  • Supportline provide advice and guidance for anyone experiencing stalking or harassment and have a helpline on 01708 765 200  
  • Rights of Women provide free employment legal advice to women in England and Wales experiencing sexual harassment 
  • Scottish Women’s Rights Centre have a legal service 
  • ACAS helpline to talk in confidence about workplace problems on 0300 123 1100 (8am – 6pm, Monday to Friday)
  • Protect can offer support in “whistleblowing” for those that have tried to raise concerns through official channels and these have failed.


We will be adding to this resource, so please do get in touch with suggestions. 



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