There's Still No Accountability for Sexual Harassment in Hollywood, But Anita Hill Has a Plan for That

Illustration for article titled Theres Still No Accountability for Sexual Harassment in Hollywood, But Anita Hill Has a Plan for That
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The Hollywood Commission for Eliminating Harassment and Advancing Equality, chaired by Anita Hill and founded by entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw and Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, recently conducted an industry-wide worker survey centered on the “ethical climate and culture of the entertainment industry.” In it, they found that the overwhelming majority of respondents—two-thirds, in a poll consisting of 9,630 anonymous workersdo not believe abusive, powerful players are or will be held accountable for sexual misconduct, Deadline reports. In other breaking news, the sky is blue.

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The Commission found that men are more likely to believe harassers will be held accountable than women (45 percent to 28 percent) and that Latinas are lease likely to believe there will be any accountability (23 percent.) The organization also found that fear of retaliation is the main reason workers don’t report harassment.

Following their findings, the Hollywood Commission is working to launch “several initiatives to make it easier to identify and report offenders, including a repeat offender platform and bystander intervention training.” According to The Wrap, the bystander intervention training will be “a pilot program in which the Hollywood Commission will train 450 entertainment workers who can train others on how to act and be an ally when they witness abuses.”

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“For too long in Hollywood, there have been ‘open secrets’ about the harassment perpetrated on workers by powerful people who are able to successfully evade accountability for their actions,” Hill said in a statement. “With this survey, we have identified the most vulnerable workers in Hollywood and the resources and systems that will provide support and a safety net for them. Our expectation is that these tools will be the foundation to build a new era of transparency and accountability for all workers in the entertainment industry.”

Hill told Deadline there were three main revelations from the study. “First of all, they don’t think their issues will be taken seriously, whether they’re made to a manager or to HR, or to a supervisor on set. The second thing is that they don’t feel that anyone’s going to be held accountable for it. And the third reason that people are not stepping up and reporting is that they feel that they will face retaliation. That’s really the basis of our findings.”

Check out the survey, in full, here. The Hollywood Commission will publish four additional reports between now and October on the topics of bias, sexual harassment and assault, bullying, and a final comprehensive report. I’m most curious to hear the details of the “repeat offender platform,” because if it is effectual, it could be a real game-changer.

Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

What’s fun is that if you did a find+replace on this post and substituted literally any other industry for entertainment/Hollywood it would be just as accurate.