SWIFT - Sisters Working in Film and Television launch #ThatsNotOk Campaign

Sisters Working in Film and Television (SWIFT) would like to issue the following statement in response to the outrage in both local and international film and television communities following the accusations of sexual harassment and abuse against Harvey Weinstein:

SWIFT acknowledges that sexual abuse and harassment of women on set has been and continues to be one of the most important struggles of the film and television industries both locally and abroad. The recent incidents regarding Harvey Weinstein only work to highlight what has been an ongoing struggle for women in film and television world-wide.

One of SWIFT’s missions is to expose sexual and racial abuse and discrimination in the workplace and, furthermore, to prevent such occurrences from taking place in the first instance. In order to do this, SWIFT has undertaken an extensive survey on sexual harassment and discrimination in the South African film and television industry in order to allow us to gain more accurate insight into the current state of women in our industry. The results of the survey were shocking with almost 70% of respondents felt that they had been discriminated against based on their gender and more than 23%  disclosed that they had been violated.

Our ongoing #ThatsNotOkay campaign, inspired by the international #ThatsHarassment campaign by Sigal Avin, will see a series of short films covering themes around sexual harassment in the workplace being disseminated on social media over the next few months. The first of the series, The Line Producer, can be found below:

Perhaps most importantly, SWIFT is in the final stages of drafting a viable Code of Conduct to be implemented throughout the industry. We are in the process of encouraging broadcasters and funding bodies to support the Code of Conduct initiative. This will ensure that women are protected when it comes to reporting and dealing with cases of sexual harassment and will make the industry safer for women. We are currently in discussions with key industry organisations around creating a neutral point of contact where these types of issues can be safely and appropriately addressed.

SWIFT is fully committed to putting a complete stop to sexual abuse in our industry and would like to encourage women who need psychological assistance or would like to take legal action against the abuse that they have experienced in the workplace, to contact our Advocacy and Impact Committee at swiftadvocacyjhb@gmail.com. As always, we would also take this opportunity to call on all men in the South African film and television industries to act as allies in this regard.

SWIFT is a South African NPO for women working in film and television. For more information on SWIFT and our activities contact our marketing managers at  jacqui.lee.katz@gmail.com orchabisetsubi@gmail.com