The Screen Women’s Action Group (SWAG) has released a survey on sexual harassment within the New Zealand screen industry. The results are all-too familiar in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
Within the New Zealand screen industry, 32%% of the 474 women anonymously surveyed said that they had been sexually harassed in the workplace within the last ten years. 45% of those admitted that a senior from their company or project was responsible for the harassment.
Another 32% of responses claimed to have witnessed sexual harassment in the workplace in the last ten years. 23% of those who experienced or witnessed this sexual harassment “kept quiet”.
Patricia Watson, the executive director of Women in Film and Television New Zealand (WIFT NZ), notes that “sexual harassment is endemic in society and no-one knows whether the screen industry is better or worse than others. There are no easy solutions, but education and awareness can help”.
“We all need to adopt a Zero Tolerance stand. Say NO to sexual harassment,” said Watson.
Lucy Holyoake, of the Emerging Women Filmmakers Network, said “as a young person hoping to work in the industry, witnessing the conversation beginning in NZ around sexual harassment in the screen industry is so important”.
This past weekend, WIFT NZ delivered a practical workshop in direct response to the results of the survey. Debbi Tohill, Executive Director of RPE (Rape Prevention Education) presented the two-hour intensive course.