Hollywood Commission report: Majority believe harassers won’t be held accountable

A report by the Hollywood Commission released Tuesday found that 35% of people responding to a survey of industry workers believe sexual harassers will be held accountable for their actions. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Sept. 30 (UPI) — A majority of workers in the entertainment industry believe that people of power accused of sexual harassment are unlikely to be held accountable, according to an industry report released Tuesday.

The report by the Hollywood Commission, headed by lawyer Anita Hill and founded by entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, drew results from an anonymous online survey of 9,630 people who self identified they were currently “working, pursuing work, or had previously worked in the entertainment industry.”

“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. “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.”

According to the report, 35% of respondents said they believed it was very likely or somewhat likely that someone in a “position of significant authority or status,” such as a high-profile producer, writer, actor or musician, would be held accountable for harassing someone with less authority or status.

Views on accountability were most divided among lines of gender as 45% of male respondents said they believed a harasser would be held accountable compared to 28% of females.

“The 2017 #MeToo coverage primarily featured reports about high-profile individuals in entertainment perpetrating particularly egregious cases of sexual assault and coercion,” the report stated. “But sexual harassment is not only a problem of individual behavior. It’s also a problem of climate — the role the entertainment industry plays in facilitating and enabling harassment.”

The report also found that instances of harassment were largely unreported, as 23% of respondents said they reported to a supervisor, 9% reported to human resources, and 4% reached out to a legal, compliance or ethics department.

“Respondents saw significant risks in reporting — including the powerful positions the offenders occupied and the possibility of damage to their careers,” the report stated.

In addition to Tuesday’s report, the Hollywood Commission is set to release further reports on bias, bullying and progress regarding sexual harassment and assault since the #MeToo movement.

The commission also announced the launch of a repeat offender platform for workers to anonymously report situations where they feel they have experienced sexual misconduct, discrimination, harassment, bullying or microaggressions, as well as bystander intervention training, to help increase the likelihood of reporting.


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