Open letter to the film industry

FIN

Film Industry Network would like to present this statement to all working professionals in the film industry.

We would like to highlight your rights and provide you with some useful resources in order to ensure that the work you do is valued, that you are compensated financially, and that your working conditions are safe.

If you are concerned by an accident at work or feel pressured, bullied, psychologically stressed or otherwise by the actions of individuals you have the legal right to defend yourself and approach local law enforcement in your native countries (We are speaking on behalf of EU and US citizens in this statement).

Companies that make financial contracts with workers are obliged to fulfil them in accordance with local law and should those contracts be broken, payment not be made or safety standards not adhered to, they can be formally investigated and even liquidated for not complying to proper standards. Companies can also be fined for creating hazardous conditions for workers.

Contractors and employees also have an obligation to ensure that they adhere to company policies that are fair and transparent in order to carry out their work. Should they breach that contract they may face disciplinary actions, however, companies cannot force employees into silence when a dispute arises regarding contractual work as this action in itself can be considered a criminal offense.

If a freelancer or contractor feels that working conditions are dangerous or the company they are working with has breached their contractual obligations or are acting illegally, then they should be reported without fail. Different countries also have different rules about stunts and film production. Appropriate permits, and the presence of police and paramedics are sometimes required by law in certain circumstances. Failing to adhere to these laws could threaten public safety, cast and crew. Again, producers should ensure that the proper permits are obtained before shooting in any location whether outside or indoors.

Working professionals have the right to engage in debate. There is no law that prohibits people from speaking with each other or highlighting what they feel is dangerous (or funny for that matter). It is these actions that prevent long term abuses, and prevent malpractice in the wider industry and we urge people not to hide in the shadows when there is an injustice being committed.

As we saw what happened in the UK with the BBC scandal, many victims were abused over a number of years and felt that they could not come forward, while people who worked with Jimmy Savile (the accused) had heard complaints but allegedly did not act on them. This should never be repeated again in the entertainment industry, in the UK or in any other country.

We invite you to seek legal advice or to approach local law enforcement regarding incidents that you feel are in breach of your human rights. You can also approach unions and free advice organizations in your home countries for additional support when you want to make a claim or file a criminal report.

Below are some resources to help you understand your rights:

United States

United Kingdom

Thank you for your attention.

If you represent a government agency, work in law enforcement and would like to add your website links to this article please contact us so that we can update this list.

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