The amount of high profile cases of sexual harassment and assault emerging from the American film industry has prompted a wider conversation about the culture of sexual harassment. An issue prevalent in most industries and existing outside of news cycles, much of the discussion in Australia is taking place within the arts.
The preliminary findings of an online survey conducted by MEAA Actors Equity suggest that 40 percent of Australian performers have direct experiences of sexual harassment, bullying or misconduct. The survey, which closes on November 17, solicits responses from those in theatre but has also received responses from those working in opera and musicals. Up to 60 percent of respondents said they had witnessed or heard reliable accounts of sexual harassment. Approximately 40 percent of those who said they had experienced harassment reported the incident to the companies.
“However, the majority of those people who report instances of sexual harassment, 60 per cent of them are dissatisfied with the outcome”, Equity director Zoe Angus told The Sydney Morning Herald. “There was either no outcome, or an inadequate reaction. And 30 per cent say that [the harassment] got worse”.
Limelightapproached the state orchestras and some of the chamber ensembles for comment...