The Old Vic Theatre has launched a plan to protect employees from workplace misconduct and sexually inappropriate behavior following a raft of allegations against former artistic director Kevin Spacey.
In November, the theater revealed that it had received 20 allegations against Spacey during his 11-year run at the company and admitted that a “cult of personality” around the Swimming With Sharks star may have prevented people, in particular junior staff or young actors, from speaking up.
Following this, the Old Vic has launched a ‘Guardian’ program that will see a number of staff receive specialist training to deal with complaints from staff and freelancers, including actors.
The theater hopes to appoint between four and six ‘guardians’ before the program begins in March.
Executive Director Kate Varah said: “The idea for The Old Vic’s Guardian program grew out of our desire to help reassure people they have a voice.
“We want everyone to have a way to share their concerns with someone outside of the ‘regular’ reporting line. Our Guardians will actively listen and support, offering confidential advice on options, with discretion and empathy. A heartening outcome for us would be other theaters, and sectors, taking the concept of Guardians within their business, and making it their own.”