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BFI inclusion boss Jen Smith to oversee new film & TV anti-bullying body

Sep 9, 2022

The UK film and TV sector’s new body to tackle bullying and harassment is ramping up by appointing BFI director of culture and inclusion Jen Smith as interim CEO on secondment.

The Independent Stands Authority (ISA), which has financial backing from all major UK broadcasters and Sky, will formalise the ISA’s remit, structure and establish funding arrangements for 2024 launch.

Smith will also seek to broaden the ISA’s scope to those working in music, theatre, fashion and advertising, the body said.

Developed in partnership with the BFI, BAFTA, Time’s Up UK and its chair Heather Rabbatts, the ISA meets long-time calls to establish a cross-industry arbiter for bullying and harassment issues.

Smith said it will “have the power to lead investigations and will do so without fear or favour,” as she is seconded there from the BFI until a permanent CEO is recruited when the ISA is fully up-and-running.

“For too long the creative industries have failed to provide an independent place for people to report experiences of poor behaviour, bullying and harassment,” she added. “The establishment of the ISA will be transformative in helping address this void. We know we are standing on the shoulders of many who have made significant efforts to drive positive change to improve our workplace culture and will continue to build on this courageous leadership.”

Rabbatts praised Smith for being “so important in leading the work on the prevention of harassment and bullying with industry partners over recent years.”

Smith has been with the BFI for six years, joining as Head of Inclusion before being promoted to her current role.

Last year, she oversaw an Action List to tackle bullying, harassment and racism in the workplace with BAFTA and 40 other industry partners.

Header Photo: copyright Nina Photography

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