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BAFTA Supports the Establishment of an Independent Complaints Body Following Russell Brand Accusations, Says New Chair in First Letter

In her initial communication to BAFTA members, newly appointed chair Sara Putt addressed an ongoing headline-grabbing story—the allegations against Russell Brand.

A joint investigation by The Times, The Sunday Times, and Channel 4 Dispatches featured accusations from four women against the comedian, actor, and TV host, ranging from rape and sexual assault to emotional abuse between 2006 and 2013, all of which Brand vehemently denied.

Putt, who officially assumed her role as BAFTA’s chair in June, succeeding Krishnendu Majumdar after his three-year term, acknowledged that the recent news has once again raised serious concerns about the culture within the screen industries and the changes that are still necessary.

She also emphasized that BAFTA is “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, has been in development since 2021 in response to various industry scandals involving sexual misconduct and bullying. Initiated and funded by Time’s Up U.K., with former BFI executive Jen Smith serving as its interim CEO, CIISA aims to become an independent body for the sector where individuals can raise concerns about behavior confidentially. It will also provide mediation, advice, dispute resolution, and investigation services.

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A statement from CIISA on Monday indicated that the organization is in “advanced discussions” with the U.K.’s creative industries and is actively developing its services and structures in preparation for its launch.

CIISA stated, “The creative industries is one of the only sectors that does not have an independent place to confidentially raise concerns about behavior,” highlighting the necessity of this critical intervention, especially in light of recent events.

In her letter, Putt also pointed out that BAFTA has made it mandatory for U.K. productions to establish bullying and harassment policies to be eligible for consideration in its film, TV, and games awards.

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