Cara Delevingne and Keira Knightley sign open letter in support of CIISA

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Cara Delevingne, Naomie Harris and Keira Knightley are among 25 high-profile names in the film industry who have signed an open letter calling on companies to make a financial commitment to a new creative standards body.

The Creative Industry Independent Standards Body (CIISA) will officially launch next year and is currently raising funding to keep it running for an initial two years. CIISA emerged from the UK MeToo movement and is strongly supported by Time’s Up UK. As interim CEO Jen Smith said Variety last year it aims to be a “single point of responsibility for the creative industries… to report concerning behaviour.” This includes bullying, intimidation and abuse. CIISA will also work with police to transfer cases where necessary, but the main thrust is to cover the range of behavior that is not explicitly unlawful but should not be tolerated in a professional environment.

A number of UK industry bodies have already backed the project, including BAFTA, the Society of London Theaters and UK Theater and UK Music.

Now actors and creatives including Delevingne, Knightley and Harris are calling on British bodies to provide both ideological and financial support. Archie Madekwe, Emerald Fennell, Gemma Chan, Ruth Wilson and Harvey Weinstein’s former assistant Zelda Perkins also signed the letter.

In a statement, Time’s Up UK said: “We are now in the final weeks of raising funds to ensure CIISA can continue for the next two years. Time’s Up UK began its campaign in February 2018 with actors sharing the red carpet with activists, lending their power to raise the voices of those who are often unheard. Time’s Up UK has been a key sponsor of this new independent body set up to keep our workforce safe, and this letter and the support of these actors is yet another powerful example of actors bringing their presence to this issue.”

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Read the letter below:

Dear Creative Industry,

We call on you to make your final commitment to the establishment of CIISA, the new independent standards authority designed to keep our creative industries safe and secure your support for this vital part of the ecosystem that is currently missing. The full financial demand is now known and that is why we ask you to finally make this idea a reality.

Many of us in this sector would have liked to have had an objective external body that we could turn to for advice, for mediation and in the very extreme circumstances where we might need an external body to hold people accountable for the bad behavior or practices that sometimes take place on our sets, on our stages, behind the scenes. And we are certainly not the only ones who recognize this need. A recent survey conducted by PA Consulting on behalf of CIISA among creative industry professionals from film, TV, music and theater found that 91% are strongly in favor of CIISA, further underlining its importance. That’s why one central place where people can seek help, mediation, dispute resolution advice and other services is essential.

Please support CIISA. This problem must be tackled by everyone together. We need this and it will become the blueprint around the world to keep our creative industries safe.

CIISA recognizes that not everything can be solved with just one intervention, but as complaints of bullying and harassment continue to rise in the industry, we believe this is a very necessary part of a series of interventions that will bring much-needed change.

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CIISA will not duplicate existing policies and procedures that some of you may already have in place, but rather will address gaps in provision.

We would like to thank those organizations that have already taken the courageous step of making the final financial commitment, and we urge those who have yet to do so to join us so we can make CIISA a reality.

Your belief in CIISA is a testament to your commitment to protecting our talented workforce and we look forward to hearing from you.

Signed,

Alexei Kaye Campbell
Alison Oliver
Archie Madekwe
Cara Delevingne
Carey Mulligan
Dominic Cooke
Emerald Green Fennel
Fenella Woolgar
Gabe Bisset Smith
Gemma Chan
Guy Remmers
Jessica Knappet
Jonny Sweet
Joshua McGuire
Keira Knightley
Krysty Wilson Cairns
Kharmel Cochrane
Naomi Harris
Ophelia Lovibond
Rebecca Ferguson
Rob Cawsey
Ruth Wilson
Sule Rimi
Susanna White
Zelda Perkins

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