The government has joined with British talent and UK broadcasters, along with the music and theatre sectors, in committing to the creation of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority (CIISA).
CIISA’s remit is to help prevent and tackle bullying and harassment. The body will be ready to take cases in 2024.
The BPI is the only music industry partner organisation putting in funding for this phase of the development of CIISA.
Jo Twist, chief executive, BPI, said: “There is no place for harassment and discrimination in our society or in the creative industries. The BPI is pleased to provide funding to support this next stage in the development of CIISA, which can play a valuable role, particularly for the freelance workforce, alongside the many actions that our label members are already taking. We look forward to CIISA involving all parts of the music industry in the coming months.”
Time’s Up UK, which has campaigned to improve standards of behaviour across film and TV over the last five years, called for the creation of an independent standards authority back in 2021. The campaigning organisation has spearheaded this initiative supported by the creative industries round table, which was set up by Creative UK and the then Secretary of State Nadine Dorries, in the wake of yet further media stories about abuse in the industry.
The proposed CIISA will initially cover film, television, music and theatre. To date all of the key stakeholders within these sectors are supporting the formation of the independent standards authority.
Lucy Frazer (pictured), Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said: “We want to maximise the potential of our creative industries to create growth and jobs across the country. Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy a creative career, while feeling safe and working in a professional environment. It’s important that industry comes together to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination, so Britain’s creative sectors remain some of the best in the world to be a part of.”
Jen Smith, interim CEO, CIISA, said: “CIISA has one clear purpose, to make the creative industries a safer working environment for our talented colleagues who make the film, TV, music and theatre that we all love and enjoy. Leading organisations and industry figures are demonstrating their visible commitment to a safer working environment too, by supporting CIISA and championing us by name.
“There is overwhelming evidence for the need for CIISA and bringing collective accountability to our sector, and the more quickly others join us, the more quickly we will have an independent body in place to support the whole ecosystem of the creative industries. We look forward to this final phase of development being ably supported by PA Consulting, who are the leading global experts in establishing new organisations of this nature.”
The role of CIISA was highlighted during the Misogyny In Music inquiry in Parliament.
Singer-songwriter Rebecca Ferguson, who gave evidence to the inquiry, said: “There is an opportunity to change the way creatives are treated in our country; by supporting this you are making history. CIISA is a monumental step: they will support future creatives, which could include your children, grandchildren or family members. By supporting CIISA you are making our industry safer and impacting people’s lives in a very positive way.”
Dr Charisse Beaumont, chief executive, Black Lives in Music, said: “If we are going to successfully tackle bullying and harassment, it is important that we do it together, be intentional about it, have a strategy and collectively implement it. The new Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority is part of that strategy and will be a preventative solution to the issues we are having in the creative industries. Bullying, harassment and discrimination can happen to anyone, it’s endemic and it’s time to double up our efforts against it.”
CIISA was also welcomed by Help Musicians, LIVE, the Musicians’ Union, the Royal Albert Hall and UK Music.
Tom Kiehl, UK Music interim CEO, said: “We want the music industry to be a welcoming and inclusive place for everyone and are determined to stamp out bullying, harassment or discrimination wherever it exists. While there has been some positive work undertaken within the industry to tackle bullying, harassment and discrimination over the past few years, we still have more work to do, and UK Music and our members are committed to ensuring that this happens.
“We thank the BPI for their financial support on behalf of music for the next stage in the development of the Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority, and look forward to working with our sector and across other creative industries to develop CIISA further.”