Tyneside Cinema management resign following sexual assault outrage
Three months after over 200 staff, past and present, condemned their negligence, management makes their announcement
The Tyneside Cinema’s Chair and CEO are both to step down from their roles, three months after their handling of sexual assault claims caused hundreds to call for their resignation.
In a statement released on their official Twitter account, it was said that CEO Holli Keeble will step down with immediate effect, and chair Lucy Armstrong “will step down as soon as the results of the independent review that has been commissioned have been made public.”
Please see the below update from the Chief Executive and the Chair.
Further to this statement, we would like to clarify that Tyneside Cinema will not be reopening until the report and recommendations of the independent review have been published. pic.twitter.com/e52KZb03Zy
— Tyneside Cinema (@tynesidecinema) September 24, 2020
July saw a staff revolt on social media against the leadership for failing to act on sexual assault claims. A statement condemning the cinema’s handling of the complaints were signed by over 200 past and present staff members. Tyneside Cinema Staff said on Twitter at the time: “We are dismayed by the accounts of how complaints of this kind have been dealt with by the organisation. We stand in solidarity with past and present employees who are survivors of abuse”.
We hope that now the cinema will take a commitment to change seriously and will be held publicly accountable, that audience and staff trust can be restored, and that you will once again feel able to love & support Tyneside Cinema. (7/8)
— TynesideCinemaStaff (@TynesideStaff) July 1, 2020
Keeble and Armstrong defended their action in yesterdays statement saying: “We were deeply concerned by the distressing reports of sexual abuse… I and the trustees commissioned a rigorous independent review which will be reporting in the next few weeks and the key findings and recommendations will be made public.”
Our priority has always been to see the Tyneside Cinema as a safe, welcoming space for everyone. Undoubtedly, serious mistakes have been made and the review is looking at every aspect of people’s experiences both past and present, to learn those lessons.”
While the organised group of staff members has not yet responded, the latest statement has received yet more criticism by the public on twitter for once again failing to issue an apology.
It’s expected the results of the review will shed light on the failings of the charity, and speculation is rife that the resignations are pre-emptive of what’s to come.
It’s understood that an interim chair and CEO will be appointed, and the cinema will not be reopened until it has enacted the recommendations of the review.