Nicholas Hytner among theatre bosses urging harassment victims to come forward

The heads of 19 theatres have signed a letter slamming harassment.

It is the responsibility of the theatre industry to “create and nurture a culture where unacceptable behaviour is swiftly challenged and addressed”, according to a joint statement from artistic directors including Emma Rice, Rufus Norris and Nicholas Hytner.

Theatre bosses condemned the sexual harassment that has been alleged against leading figures in the entertainment industry, including Harvey Weinstein, Roy Price and James Toback and said they developing further ways to support people to hold others to account, the letter said.

Harvey Weinstein allegations
Harvey Weinstein (Andy Butterton/PA)

A statement signed by the heads of 19 theatres said: “Following the reports and allegations of the last two weeks, first in America and, more recently, closer to home, we have come together to make clear that there can be no place for sexual harassment or abuse of power in our industry.

“We salute the bravery of everyone who calls out this abusive behaviour. We support a theatre culture that empowers people to speak up: a culture where abuse of power is always challenged.

“We are committed to working together to ensure that theatre is a safe space for all, where everyone is respected and listened to. The Royal Court Theatre’s Day of Action on Saturday 28 October is one important part of this process.

Laurence Olivier Awards – London
Rupert Goold is among the signatories (Yui Mok/PA)

“Together, we are developing further ways to support people to speak up and to hold others to account.

“It is the responsibility of the industry to create and nurture a culture where unacceptable behaviour is swiftly challenged and addressed.

“We want to be absolutely clear and say again: there is no room for sexual harassment or abuse of power in the theatre.

“Everyone deserves to enjoy a happy, healthy and safe working environment. We will support you to speak out, and we will hear you when you do.”

It has been signed by industry figures including Rupert Goold, artistic director of the Almeida Theatre, Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr, who recently set up the Bridge Theatre, Josie Rourke of the Donmar Warehouse, Rufus Norris of the National Theatre and Emma Rice of Shakespeare’s Globe.

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