Europe

Dublin's Gate Theatre responds to harassment claims

Dublin's Gate Theatre Image copyright © Graham Hogg/CC Geograph
Image caption The Gate Theatre said it would address allegations in a 'formal and confidential manner'

A Dublin theatre is to hire a new HR advisor after a number of claims of inappropriate, misogynistic behaviour in the Irish theatre industry.

The Gate Theatre said it condemned "sexual harassment and abuse of power" and asked staff and ex-employees to get in contact if they had any concerns.

It intends to appoint an "independent" HR advisor to handle any issues raised.

Last week, it was among seven Irish theatre organisations that issued a joint statement condemning harassment.

Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister) Leo Varadkar welcomed the Gate Theatre's move and said reporting harassment "empowers" other victims to come forward.

However, he added: "We also need to counter-balance that with the understanding that an allegation is an allegation and people have the right to due process and the right to their good name protected."

'Unacceptable behaviour'

The theatre organisations' statement was released in the wake of allegations against the Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, and widespread international media coverage of claims of sexual harassment against several figures in public life.

"Theatres, like any work environment, need to be safe spaces for everyone," said the joint statement said.

"We are committed to working together to raise awareness and to create a safe culture and environment where unacceptable behaviour can be addressed and challenged."

After the statement was released, a woman published a blog in which she made a series of allegations of inappropriate comments by a senior figure in the Irish theatre industry.

Irish newspapers have carried allegations from two other women against the same man.

The Gate Theatre's statement told potential complainants that allegations would be "addressed in a formal and confidential manner".

Its management promised to "listen to what people have to say" and said their aim "is to foster a safe and supportive working environment".