An organization dedicated to advancing women in the field of animation has taken up the fight against workplace sexual harassment, discussing the topic at meetings with independent studio owners, posting online resources for victims and planning a session with legal experts to offer advice.
As Hollywood seeks to come to terms with how to respond to numerous accounts of sexual misconduct, Women in Animation President Marge Dean notes sexual harassment is one reason the industry struggles to keep female animators.
“Stopping all forms of harassment is central to WIA’s mission to increase the number of women and other under-represented groups in creative roles so that more diverse voices will be heard,” Dean wrote in an emailed letter to WIA members. “It will make for better entertainment and an overall better culture.”
Dean referred to one campaign that appears to have resonated in the community, the Roar Art Project, which provides a platform for women in the industry to express themselves through their art.
“As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, the antidote to the poison is talking about it; breaking the silence and bringing the secrets out into the light,” Dean wrote. “Making art is exactly that. Our hope is that making art will be cathartic for the folks who do it as well as for the ones who see and share it.”
The online gallery will be open by the end of the month, though the submissions may also be exhibited at events or published.
Women in Animation also published a list of sexual harassment resources, and plans to work with The Animation Guild to host a panel discussion with legal expert and counseling consultant to answer questions. It met with independent studio owners to discuss what policies and practices they currently have in place to support and protect their employees.