Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth wants the culture industry several years after the emergence of the
"And I'll say quite clearly: Even artistic geniuses - or supposedly artistic geniuses - are not above the law," said Roth. "The times of patriarchal morons who abuse their position of power in the worst possible way should really be over. Even if obviously not everyone has understood that yet."
The culture industry is now to adopt a code of conduct under the auspices of the cultural council. The first step is a binding self-commitment by the industry, said Roth. "Should that not be enough and have a correspondingly far-reaching effect, we will take the next step and make it binding for all of our funding."
reasons for the silence
According to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Ferda Ataman, unsafe working conditions contribute to the fact that harassment sometimes does not go public. For example, because one is dependent on the goodwill of a producer or a director. She reported on a ballet dancer with a fixed-term contract who was afraid of not getting a follow-up contract.
Sexual harassment can be any sexualized behavior in the workplace that the person concerned does not want, said Ataman, such as lewd looks, sexist jokes, e-mails with pornographic content, but also inappropriate touching. In a survey in the culture and media industry, 46 percent stated that they had been affected by sexual harassment in the last three years, compared to 9 percent across all industries.
Under the catchphrase
In Germany, the Themis trust center was founded in 2018 to advise people from the theatre, film and music industries. Around 850 initial consultations and a total of around 2000 discussions were held, said board member Eva Hubert. Half of the cases involved verbal, non-verbal or digital harassment (48 percent), 37 percent physical harassment and 5 percent serious physical violence. 10 percent did not provide any information. According to Hubert, there were reports of ten rapes in the last year and the year before last.
Women often turn to the advice center (about 90 percent), but there are also men, said Hubert. The culprits are usually higher-ranking or superiors, usually men, but it could also be women. Many cases come from the stage world (46 percent) and the film and television industry (41 percent).
Doubts about self-commitment
The culture industry is now to develop the code of conduct against sexualized border crossings within a year. In addition, preventive measures are to be expanded. When asked how helpful a self-commitment really is, the managing director of the cultural council, Olaf Zimmermann, replied that they must try to bring about change in their own areas. "I don't deny that it's difficult."
For Roth, it would be conceivable to link the allocation of subsidies to other criteria if necessary. Zimmermann expressed concerns, for example with the implementation. Ataman, on the other hand, called for binding rules and sanctions. "For example: No more public money to people who don't follow the rules," she said. In addition, protection against discrimination in the industry must be improved.
The production of new films, for example, is boosted every year with millions in funding. Minister of State for Culture Roth said on the working conditions in the film industry that federal film funding is of course also associated with the applicable working time and occupational safety regulations having to be observed.