herald

Sunday 18 November 2018

Gate invites staff to 'speak out' over sex harassment claims

Gate Theatre promises to listen to any harassment claims
Gate Theatre promises to listen to any harassment claims

The Gate Theatre is to appoint an independent advisor to deal with potential sexual harassment claims.

The theatre has issued a statement, in which it condemns "the issue of sexual harassment and abuse of power in the theatre world", both in Ireland and internationally.

It said it is committed to dealing with any "harassment issues" of current and former employees in a confidential manner.

The theatre said it always aims to foster a safe working environment and is encouraging people with any concerns to contact them on confidential@gate-theatre.ie.

"Any experience shared will be treated in the utmost confidence," said the theatre.

"We intend to appoint an independent professional HR advisor to handle any issues raised."

The statement was sent after allegations of harassment and assault made against figures working in the Irish theatre.

Last week, several prominent arts organisations, including the Abbey Theatre, the Gate Theatre, the Druid Theatre, the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Project Arts Centre and the Dublin Fringe Festival, issued a statement that emphasised their commitment in "supporting those who speak out, and to listen closely and carefully when they do".

Allegations

It was issued in light of what it called "the recent developments and allegations" in the entertainment industries in the US and UK.

"The welfare and well- being of everyone working in our theatres is of paramount importance," said the statement.

"Therefore we wish to restate our collective commitment to ensuring that Irish theatres are safe, fair and equitable places for all those working within them."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has said while he was cautious about commenting on the Gate's decision, it was right for people to come forward.

"That requires a degree of bravery of course but also it empowers other people to do the same, maybe people who were afraid to do so in the past," he said.

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