Sky Introduces Strengthened Production Safeguarding Rules After The Noel Clarke Scandal

Noel Clarke, Bulletproof
Noel Clarke in 'Bulletproof' Sky

People working on Sky originals must undergo workplace respect training and will have access to a safeguarding representative under strengthened procedures introduced by the Comcast-owned European broadcaster following the Noel Clarke scandal.

Zai Bennett, managing director of content at Sky UK, and Sky Studios’ chief content officer Jane Millichip wrote to producers Monday outlining the new safeguarding measures, which will be introduced on all new Sky productions.

“Recent allegations of sexual misconduct and other unacceptable behaviour on set in the TV industry have given us all reason to address what is and is not acceptable during production,” the duo said in a blog post.

“It’s our belief that Sky already has good and appropriate policies in place on our sets, but recent events have shown us that we could and should do more. … Now is the time for us all to take a firm stand and ensure there is no ambiguity whatsoever about behaviours, work culture and the professional standards we expect on our productions.”

Here are the new procedures:

  • Require every production to have a named safeguarding representative, who will support production with information on policies and routes to report issues. This could be someone with an existing role on set, who has appropriate training
  • Mandatory respect in the workplace training: Everyone working on a Sky production, including cast and crew, will have to complete an online training module. On scripted productions, it will also be mandatory to do ScreenSkills training
  • Prominently displaying avenues where people can report concerns on set and around the workplace
  • Anonymous exit questions for cast and crew once a show or film has wrapped

Current protocols are not as specific. They include the provision of information on how a production will deal with mental health and wellbeing, and confidential whistleblowing services, while the ScreenSkills training is recommended but not mandatory.

The update follows Sky canceling the fourth season of Bulletproof after more than 20 women made allegations about Clarke’s behavior on other productions. Sky and producer Vertigo were not been made aware of any inappropriate behavior prior to The Guardian‘s exposé on Clarke in April, though internal investigations continue. Clarke vehemently denies any wrongdoing.

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