By Jen Yamato Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace aims to create a "comprehensive strategy" to address the epidemic of sexual harassment and misconduct that has rocked Hollywood and the country in recent months.
A newly formed commission comprised of top Hollywood executives has chosen Anita Hill to chair its efforts to combat sexual harassment across the entertainment industry.
A powerhouse committee including studio, talent agency and guild leaders from across the film, television, digital and music industries attended the meeting convened by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, Nike Foundation Co-Chair Maria Eitel, attorney Nina Shaw and venture capitalist and activist Freada Kapor Klein.
Among those involved in the new effort to create "safer, fairer, more equitable and accountable workplaces" in Hollywood are Paramount CEO Jim Gianopulos, Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara, Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, Atlantic Records Chair and COO Julie Greenwald, William Morris Endeavor Co-CEO Ari Emanuel, Creative Artists Agency Co-Chairman Bryan Lourd, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Dawn Hudson and SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris.
The Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace aims to create a "comprehensive strategy" to address the epidemic of sexual harassment and misconduct that has rocked Hollywood and the country in recent months, exposing alleged abuses by figures such as Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Russell Simmons. Next steps will follow in the new year, according to the group.
"The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power," Kennedy said in a statement. "The fact that so many industry leaders, across film, television, music, digital, unions, agencies, ATA, AMPAS, television academy and guilds, came together, in one room, to explore solutions speaks to a new era."
Hill is a professor of social policy, law and women's studies at Brandeis University and a National Women's Law Center board member who previously chaired the Human Rights Committee of the International Bar Association. She became an emblem for women's rights when she brought sexual harassment allegations against then-U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas.
Exactly how the new commission will present best practices to curb sexual harassment remains to be seen.
"We will be focusing on issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research, and data collection," Hill said.
"It is time to end the culture of silence. I've been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change."