Am I being bullied?

The informal culture and normalised behaviours in film and TV can make it hard to identify bullying, or to feel confident that certain behaviours are unacceptable. This can be a confusing and lonely experience.

It’s important to try to make sense of how certain behaviours make you feel. This is partly so that you can seek the right support, but also because different kinds of bullying behaviour may determine which legal rights you have.

If the behaviour you’re experiencing relates to any of the ‘protected characteristics’ listed by the Equality Act 2010 you’re protected by law against discrimination including racism, harassment and victimisation. You may have further rights depending on whether you are an employee, the length and nature of your contract.

Resources to help you make sense of what's happening

Acas

This guide explains the difference between bullying, harassment, discrimination and victimisation. It gives examples of each type of behaviour and how these unfair treatments might make you feel

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NHS

Helps you identify whether you're being bullied and explains that it can lead to feelings of stress, and ill health

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Bectu

Lists the more subtle examples of bullying behaviour and directs the reader to Bectu’s helpline

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Equality Human Rights

Understanding your rights can help you decide what action to take. This resource outlines the protected characteristics and provides definitions of discrimination

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BFI in partnership with BAFTA

This practical guide to prevent bullying, harassment and racism in the screen industries includes examples to help you identify inappropriate behaviour

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Directors UK

Includes a checklist of the behaviours you may be experiencing, acknowledges that senior leaders can also be victims, bystanders and perpetrators

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National Bullying Helpline

A term based on a 1940s film of the same name, this subtle form of bullying is often deep-rooted in working culture. Included here are the signs to look out for

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What is sexual harassment?

The #METOO movement shone a light on high-profile cases of sexual harassment in Hollywood and throughout the creative industries. Years on, it remains prevalent and underreported.

Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature. Even low-level harassment can have a cumulative effect that impacts someone’s mental health, so it’s important to identify what’s happening and how it might be stopped.

Resources to help define sexual harassment

Acas

Acas describes who it can happen to, gives examples and explains how sex is a protected characteristic under law

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Time's Up

Narrated by Donald Glover, this animation is an irreverent, educational video about sexual harassment in the workplace

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Bectu

This interactive industry guide tests your knowledge, and explains what you can do if you experience sexual harassment at work

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TUC - Trade's Union Congress

This downloadable booklet describes the impact that sexual harassment can have on your mental health and defines your legal rights

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What does racial discrimination look like?

The resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd in 2020 opened up a dialogue about systemic racism in film and TV.

Race (along with disability, religion, sex and age) is a protected characteristic against discrimination under the Equality Act. However racism is complex and can be institutional as well as personal. It can include microaggressions that over time can impact your mental health. It’s also thought to be underreported in the media industries.

Resources to help define racial discrimination

Citizens Advice

Explains exactly what race discrimination is, including direct and indirect discrimination, providing real-life workplace examples

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Acas

Offers employers, line managers and employees an insight into how race discrimination can occur in the workplace and how it can be dealt with

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BFI Sight & Sound

Read interviews with individuals talking about their industry experiences in production, diversity and inclusion research, criticism and programming

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What is disability discrimination?

Disabilities are under-represented behind the camera as well as on screen. Projects like Doubling Disability, run by the Creative Diversity Network, are trying to change this. However it’s not just representation that needs to improve, it’s also inclusivity and treatment at work.

Resources to help define disability discrimination

Citizens Advice

Covers disability discrimination at work, including examples of direct and indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation

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#WeShallNotBeRemoved

As the national lockdown ends and creative work begins, these seven principles for arts and cultural organisations have been created to ensure that deaf, neurodiverse and disabled people are not discriminated against

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Are there any resources out there that we’ve missed? Or any information that would be useful to you that we can share in the future? Get in touch [email protected]