Hollywood has decided to set up a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality in the entertainment industry.
The creation of this task force comes in the wake of waves of reports of sexual assault and harassment in the media world, seemingly motivated by sexual assault allegations reported against Harvey Weinstein in October.
Hill, 56, changed the way people thought about sexual assault and sexual harassment in the workplace in 1991, when she testified during US Supreme Court nomination hearings about alleged sexual misconduct she previously experienced at the hands of Justice Clarence Thomas.
The founding of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace was announced in a statement released on Friday.
Hollywood will set up a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality in the entertainment industry, a statement announced Friday; Hill is seen hear speaking to entertainment professionals in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Dec. 8
The creation of this task force comes in the wake of waves of reports of sexual assault and harassment in the media world, seemingly motivated by sexual assault allegations reported against Harvey Weinstein (pictured) in October
The 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.
Kathleen Kennedy is seen here at the 24th annual ELLE Women in Hollywood Awards at the Four Seasons Hotel Beverly Hills, in Los Angeles on Oct. 16
The long list includes Disney CEO Bob Iger, Paramount CEO Karen Stuart, Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge and CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves.
The movie and music academies and many of the major agencies and unions that represent entertainers also signed on.
‘The fact that so many industry leaders – across film, television, music, digital, unions, agencies … and guilds – came together, in one room, to explore solutions speaks to a new era,’ Kennedy said.
The group chose Hill as its chair, the law professor 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.’
Hill is seen here speaking at the Texas Conference For Women 2017 at the Austin Convention Center on Nov. 2
‘This was the big unveiling,’ said Matt Belloni, the editorial director of The Hollywood Reporter.
‘Kathleen Kennedy is a major figure within the Walt Disney Company and I think that was the key to getting some of these big CEOs on board,’ Belloni told CBS News.
The commission said in its statement that it would reconvene immediately after the first of the year to dial inits mission, scope and priorities.
‘This is by far the most aggressive step we’ve seen,’ Belloni said.
‘This is the one that they’re going to put forth as a code of conduct for the industry to help combat the this issue … The accountability question is the key question here because it’s all talk until there are consequences for this behavior,’ Belloni said.
The allegations lodged against Weinstein, as reported in The New York Times and the New Yorker in October, have inspired an onslaught of people to share similar experiences of their own over the last two months.
The transparency has been unlike any the media world has ever seen.
New allegations of sexual harassment, assault and abuse have come out almost daily since the Weinstein story broke, involving some of the most prominent players in entertainment, including Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Dustin Hoffman, Russell Simmons, and Matt Lauer.
Hill had been making appearances in Southern California in recent days before Friday’s announcement.
She spoke to a gathering of entertainers and executives at United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif. on Dec 8.
There, she said that she knew that despite Thomas’ confirmation to the US Supreme Court, the issue would one day return.
‘I never believed 1991 was the end,’ she said, ‘and I was going to make sure in my life that I never saw that as the defining moment for me or for this issue.’