Sun | Mar 18, 2018

Major media players start commission for sexual misconduct

Published:Sunday | December 17, 2017 | 12:00 AM


The biggest figures and institutions in entertainment in the United States have established a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality in the industry in the wake of the huge wave of revelations spurred by allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

A statement last Friday announced the founding of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, a group that grew out of a meeting called by Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy and several other prominent women in the industry.

"The commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and interrelated causes of the problems of parity and power," Kennedy said in a statement.

The chief executives of nearly every major Hollywood studio, TV network and record label attended the meeting and agreed to found and to fund the group, the statement said.

The movie and music academies and many of the major agencies and unions that represent entertainers also signed on.

The group chose as its chair the law professor Hill, who brought the concept of sexual harassment to national consciousness in 1991 when she testified during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas.

"It is time to end the culture of silence," Hill said in a statement. "I've been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change."

The commission said in its statement that it would reconvene immediately after the first of the year to hone its mission, scope and priorities.

The revelations about Weinstein in The New York Times and the New Yorker in October have brought on two months unlike any the media world has ever seen, with nearly daily allegations of sexual harassment assault and abuse that have ensnared some of the most prominent players in entertainment including Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Dustin Hoffman and Russell Simmons.