In her first letter to members, incoming BAFTA chair Sara Putt took note of a story continuing to generate headlines after breaking over the weekend — the allegations against Russell Brand.
In a joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times and Channel 4 Dispatches, the comedian, actor and TV host was the subject of in which four women accused him of rape, sexual assault and emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013, all of which he has vehemently denied.
“This weekend’s news has again raised serious questions about the culture of the screen industries and what still needs to change,” wrote Putt, who was formally unveiled as BAFTA’s new chair in June, taking over from Krishnendu Majumdar after a three-year term.
Putt added that the British Academy was “supportive of the creation of CIISA, an independent standards authority for those working in the creative industries.”
The CIISA, or Creative Industries Independent Standards Authority, is a proposed body that has been in development since 2021 in the wake of various other industry scandals over sexual misconduct and bullying. Initiated and funded by Time’s Up U.K. with former BFI exec Jen Smith as its interim CEO, the CIISA would purportedly be an independent body for the sector where individuals could not just raise concerns about behavior anonymously, but also go to for mediation, to seek advice, for dispute resolution and investigation.
In a statement on Monday, the CIISA said that it was now in “advanced discussions” with the U.K. creatives industries and was “currently developing it services and structures” as it prepared to go live.
“The creative industries is one of the only sectors that does not have an independent place to confidentially raise concerns about behavior,” it added. “The news this weekend further underlines the need for this critical intervention.”
In her letter, Putt noted that BAFTA had now made it mandatory for U.K. productions to have a bullying and harassment policy in place in order to enter its film, TV and games awards.