Women In Film which has been inundated with calls over the past two days to give their assessment of the scandal involving Miramax and TWC former mogul Harvey Weinstein just issued a statement about sexual harassment, stating that “the problem is far more widespread than people have been willing to discuss publicly.” Like actress and Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan, they have, too, asked for male colleagues to come forward and step up to speak about what they know. WIF have also asked the industry for mandates in hiring practices and penalties to help curb the problem of sexual harassment and hints more information about other sexual harassers is likely:
Women In Film encourages women to continue speaking up about sexual harassment, which is an all too-common form of discrimination. That so many people, particularly other men in power, knew about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior and didn’t say anything is an indication of how deeply entrenched discrimination is in the film & TV business — and in culture overall.
We are hearing more and more shocking accounts from women affected by Harvey Weinstein’s behavior; women emboldened to finally speak up because others have before them. We will likely hear about other men in the entertainment industry who have harassed women, because the problem is far more widespread than people have been willing to discuss publicly.
In order to do something to end sexual harassment, we must require Industry leaders to: (1) mandate gender inclusive boards and decision making groups (2) mandate inclusive hiring practices from the top down, from executives to support staff. Ensuring that there are more women in positions of power will change the culture and result in decreased sexual harassment and discrimination overall (3) mandate that lasting legal penalties be applied without compromise, bias or settlement, and these penalties be enforced for those found guilty and complicit in these crimes of discrimination. The bottom line is that no one should be held to different standards; regardless of their power, money or fame.
Women need allies. We need our male colleagues – who have mothers, sisters, daughters and friends – to step up and speak out now and whenever they are witness to discrimination of any kind.