‘Call It’: the app tackles sexual harassment in the film industry | Film industry
WWhen she was 24, film producer Kate Wilson was sexually harassed at work so severely that she left the United States and returned to the United Kingdom, which had a huge impact on her career. “That was 21 years ago,” she said, “and I’m not comfortable referring to it now.”
The co-founder of an application that will soon be launched, Call It!, Wilson is determined to ensure that workplace bullying, discrimination and harassment have no place in the UK film and television industry.
She was motivated to co-found the app, along with Victoria director Delyth Thomas and My Mad Fat Diary. producer Jules Hussey, following the Guardian’s investigation of actor and producer Noel Clarke earlier this year. “I was appalled,” she said of the revelations. The three co-founders have direct experiences of bullying or misconduct, Wilson says.
To call! allows workers in the film and television industry to report incidents of harassment, intimidation and abuse to executives or senior producers on their sets. Bosses will receive an anonymized, high-level overview of what happened.
“By alerting producers that this is happening,” Wilson said, “it gives them the opportunity to go talk to the cast and the crew, remind them that there is a zero tolerance approach and make sure that training is provided, if reports continue to arrive.
The data will be stored in a dashboard, allowing executives to track the mood and well-being of their employees in real time. “It will force them to step their heads out of the sand and empower them to act if necessary,” Wilson said.
In addition, the app will notify individuals of the appropriate assistance. For example, a woman reporting sexual harassment would be referred to emergency services in the event of a criminal incident, as well as Time’s Up UK, the anti-harassment organization.
Users would also be directed to their employer’s specific workplace policies and receive contact details of a person they could email, should they choose to waive their anonymity and file a formal complaint.
“We can’t force individuals to report, but we can make sure that the information is available if they need it, so they know what their rights are. This is part of the problem in our industry. People don’t know what their rights are, ”Wilson said.
The app was designed by the developers of Hull, Sauce, and funded by donations from Film and TV Charity, Sara Putt Associates and Directors UK, in addition to private donors. It is being piloted and tested by a range of UK-based production and post-production, TV productions and feature film companies, with a UK-wide launch by the end of the year.
Data collected through the app will be aggregated and submitted to Birmingham City University’s Sir Lenny Henry Center for Media Diversity, in an anonymized form. Details of the productions involved will be removed. “These data will allow us to design targeted interventions to improve conditions in the film and television industry,” Wilson said.
To call! will not solve the endemic rot in the UK film and television industry, Wilson said. “The app does not replace being a good producer or a good leader. He is a facilitator. It signals the resources. This does not solve the problem. We need humans to ultimately solve these problems. “
Wilson has an additional motivation to improve conditions in the industry: his daughter is currently studying cinema. “I want her to enter a safe industry,” she added.