BBC Studios recently implemented its "The Pledge initiative" across all of its productions. “'The Pledge' was born out of wanting production leads to take accountability, but more importantly to empower the rest of the crew to be able to call out and address any kind of poor behavior - without fear of repercussion," Lisa Hardy, Director of HR, BBC Studios Productions said. "The response from both producers, crew and on and off-screen talent across all our bases in the UK since we introduced it last August has been overwhelmingly positive.”
The initiative was introduced by BBC Studios Productions’ CEO Ralph Lee and Director of HR, Lisa Hardy, and was first tested out on Salford-shot "Question of Sport." Other shows that have used the initiative include "EastEnders," "Strictly Come Dancing," "Top Gear" and "Silent Witness." The program was also applied to "Good Omens" and "Trying and Fantastic Beasts: A Natural History."
"The Pledge" is intended to serve as a response to various cultural challenged faced by creatives in the industry, and promote accountability for flawed behavior in the community. BBC Studios is now exploring the possibility of extending "The Pledge" to its fully and partly owned indie partners’ productions.
“I’ve welcomed The Pledge across all our Productions in FEE and it’s a simple but effective method that allows us to clearly demonstrate accountability to the team," Sallie Bevan, Head of Production for Factual Entertainment & Events, BBC Studios Productions, said. "Leading a number of productions, both new and long-standing returners, it gives us the opportunity to ensure there’s no ambiguity in terms of what we expect, regardless of anyone’s position or tenure.”
At the beginning of each production process, an Executive Producer reads "The Pledge" to the entire unit and signs it – committing themselves to ensuring that everyone working on the production remains respectful and inclusive and adheres to BBC values – and that they will fully support colleagues who raise legitimate concerns about inappropriate behaviour. The Pledge is then included prominently on daily call sheets as well as advising crew how to raise concerns. It also lists the contact details for alternative avenues and free services such as the Bullying and Harassment Helpline and the Film and TV Charity helpline for freelancers.
Gareth Edwards, Executive Producer, Question of Sport, says: “The Pledge is the most important thing that I can ever say to my team and those who work alongside me and every single one of us needs to be reminded regularly that there should be no compromise on behavioural standards. Adding it to a call sheet or printing it out is not enough – which is why getting a senior member of the production to take the time to talk about it in front of everyone is so much more valuable. I genuinely hope the message will continue to change our culture for the better.”
'The Pledge' was born out of wanting production leads to take accountability, but more importantly to empower the rest of the crew to be able to call out and address any kind of poor behavior - without fear of repercussion. The response from both producers, crew and on and off-screen talent across all our bases in the UK since we introduced it last August has been overwhelmingly positive.” Lisa Hardy Director of HR, BBC Studios Productions