Keira Knightley backs calls for end to toxic behaviour in entertainment industry

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Keira Knightley (PA)
Keira Knightley (PA)

Keira Knightley has joined a growing number of stars that are demanding the creation of an independent authority that would oversee bullying and harassment claims.

The 37-year-old actress is one of several high-profile figures that want the introduction of an Independent Standards Authority (ISA) in the entertainment world.

Knightley was joined by actress Naomi Harris, who is also pushing for a new authority that would offer a place for people to report issues such as bullying in the workplace.

Demands for an ISA were initially introduced by UK Time’s Up. The group has now joined forces with Creative UK and has garnered a wealth of support from across the entertainment and media industry.

Speaking about her decision to back the cause, Knightley said in a statement: “For anyone to fulfill their creative potential there cannot be fear or disrespect or any kind. We are all entitled to work in safe, respectful spaces where dignity for all is upheld. I believe the ISA is an important step in helping to achieve this.”

Time’s Up chair, Dame Heather Rabbatts, also added: “Where the complaint is historic in nature, where it relates to conduct outside work, or if there are multiple complaints, there is currently no process.”

“Only by creating a body which stands fully independent, with processes and investigations informed by legal standards of confidentiality, can there be confidence and trust, and more broadly, for the integrity of the industry to be assured.”

Naomi Harris has also backed the Time’s Up campaign (Dave Benett)
Naomi Harris has also backed the Time’s Up campaign (Dave Benett)

Both Knightley and Harris have previously opened up about being a victim of assault themselves.

Knightley explained to Harper’s Bazaar: “Literally, I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been [sexually harassed], in some way, whether it’s being flashed at, or groped, or some guy saying they’re going to slit your throat, or punching you in the face, or whatever it is, everybody has.”

The latest push to create an ISA came after Rebecca Ferguson met with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport last year to recount her experiences of harassment and discrimination.

Rebecca Ferguson opened up about facing harassment while working (PA Archive)
Rebecca Ferguson opened up about facing harassment while working (PA Archive)

“The ISA is a monumental step that will support future creatives, which could include your children, grandchildren or family members,” she said.

“By supporting the ISA you are making our industry safer and impacting peoples’ lives in a very positive way. Every industry deserves good practice and standards so that we can all work together harmoniously.”

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