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Sexual harassment in the field of film, TV, theatre, music and gaming

In the wake of the #metoo campaign in the autumn of 2017 we have undertaken a survey to identify the prevalence and experience of sexual harassment in job settings among those working in the areas of film, TV, theatre, music and gaming.

The report addresses the following main issues related to the prevalence and experience of sexual harassment:

  • What experience do those working in the areas of film, TV, theatre, music and gaming have with sexual harassment in job settings?
  • What consequences does sexual harassment in job settings entail for individuals?
  • How are incidents of sexual harassment followed up?

The study is based on an online survey among those working in the area of film, TV, theatre, music and gaming in Norway. The sample was established by relevant professional and special-interest organisations and individuals sending the email addresses of relevant respondents to Fafo. We received a total of 4752 answers, equal to a response rate of 39 per cent.

Chapter 3 presents experiences of sexual harassment in job settings. Here we investigate the prevalence, the forms of harassment, who commits sexual harassment and when and where this takes place. The main findings in this chapter are:

  • Altogether 32 per cent report to have been exposed to sexual harassment during their career.
  • 5 per cent had been exposed to sexual harassment during the last 12 months, while 6 per cent had their last experience 1–3 years ago.
  • The younger the respondent, the greater the likelihood of having been exposed to sexual harassment in a job setting over the last three years.
  • Women are more exposed than men, but men also experience sexual harassment. In terms of occupations, a higher proportion of singers, actors, dancers and scenographers, sound/lighting personnel and costume designers have been exposed to sexual harassment over recent years, when compared to dramatists, conductors, technical staff and musicians. These results are to some extent linked to the gender distribution in these occupations. When considering women in isolation, we see that a large proportion of women musicians have also been exposed to sexual harassment.
  • Respondents have experienced various forms of sexual harassment, and physical, verbal and non-verbal forms are all common. Many have experience of multiple incidents, but only very few assess these incidents as very serious.
  • In the majority of cases it is men who harass women, and the harassment is often committed by a colleague without management responsibility (56–61 per cent) or a manager/superior with formal management responsibility (26–32 percent). One in every four respondents also report that the harassment was committed by a superior in a creative role, while 20–30 per cent report to have been harassed by people in the audience or guests.
  • Sexual harassment takes place in various settings, but close to half of the respondents report that the incident happened during a rehearsal/perfor- mance/ recording session. An approximately equal proportion reports that this happened in a work-related social context.
  • One in every ten responds that the sexual harassment happened in the context of the recruitment process for a job/assignment. Few are in recru- itment processes on a daily basis, and the relatively low proportion must be seen in light of this. On the other hand, such situations tend to be cha- racterised by hierarchical relations and unequal power, which may exacer- bate the vulnerable situation and the experience of sexual harassment in such settings.
  • The respondents report to a varying extent that others were present when the incident happened, and that a high proportion of those who commit- ted the harassment were under the influence of alcohol or other intoxi- cants.
  • Nearly half report that they were temporarily employed/substitutes at the workplace when they were exposed to sexual harassment. This is a far higher proportion than those who report to have such employment conditions in the sample as a whole. This indicates that people with a loose affiliation with the workplace may be more exposed to sexual harassment than other employees.

Chapter 4 deals with various consequences of sexual harassment for those who have been exposed to it in a job setting. The main findings in this chapter are:

  • The most frequently reported consequence of sexual harassment is related to job dissatisfaction. Nearly half of the respondents report this outcome.
  • In general, those who have been exposed to sexual harassment over the last 12 months appear to experience a higher rate of various negative consequences, such as wanting to quit their job, mental issues, feelings of insecurity during their leisure time and of limited career opportunities, when compared to those whose experienced sexual harassment further back in time (1–3 years).

Chapter 5 elucidates how incidents of sexual harassment are followed up in the workplace. The main findings in this chapter are:

  • Approximately seven out of ten did not report the incident.
  • The main reasons for not reporting it are that they were uncertain of whether the incident(s) was (were) sufficiently serious, and that they did not wish to pursue the matter any further. A relatively large proportion also respond that their decision not to report the incident was due to apprehension about the consequences this might entail for their further career, because the industry or workplace culture is not conducive to reporting such incidents, or because of fear of losing their job or being excluded from further assignments.
  • The cases that are reported to others are followed up at the workplace to a varying extent.
  • A total of 33 per cent of the women and 24 per cent of the men in the sample respond that they are aware of colleagues having been exposed to sexual harassment during the last 12 months. There is a close correlation between age and awareness of colleagues who have been so exposed. The younger the respondents, the greater the likelihood that they are aware of colleagues having been exposed to sexual harassment during the last 12 months.

In Chapter 6 we present the respondents’ assessments regarding whether different actions should be considered to constitute sexual harassment or not. The main findings in this chapter are:

Some interesting differences can be observed in terms of gender, age and occupation when it comes to the assessments of whether or not various situations should be considered to constitute sexual harassment. Older respondents tend to be more liberal than the younger when it comes to the kinds of actions that should be considered to constitute sexual harassment.

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