Anita Hill says the Hollywood Commission she chairs is determined “to change the system” that has allowed sexual harassment and discrimination to coexist in the entertainment industry for decades. Speaking today at the 2020 Makers Conference, she said that the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality “is a manifestation of the collective action” that must be taken “if we are going to have solutions.”
Interviewed onstage by Willow Bay, dean of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, Hill urged everyone in the industry to take the commission’s survey, which seeks to gauge the extent of harassment, bias and abuse in the workplace. The survey is set to close on Feb. 24. “That gives you plenty of time to participate, and I ask you to do so if you’re eligible to take it,” she said. “Take the survey and help us do our work.” The Commission was formed in 2017 in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
You can take the survey here.
Speaking to the audience, Hill said that “there are many of you who are leaders out there – take ownership of that leadership role; be clear about what you stand for in whatever space you can lead in, and imagine a world, and a system, that really takes seriously this problem and does everything possible to change it. But in particular, do it from the point of view of all those people who have been left out; all the talent that has been lost; all the people who have been marginalized; and all of those people who could be here in this room with us, but for some of the horrific behavior, and even the everyday behavior, that we’re experiencing in our workplaces.”
Bay asked for her advice to young women who are starting their show business careers “to ensure that they have the kind of equitable and inclusive workplaces that we all deserve.”
“The best advice is for them to be strong and clear about who they are and what they want, and build the skills necessary,” Hill said. “But really, I’m not here to change women. I’m not here to change young women and try to craft them into some sort of mini-men or female versions of males. I’m here to change the system. That’s what I’m here to change, and that’s who I want to speak to.”
To which Bay said: “Anita Hill, thank you. We’re right behind you in in helping to change the system. You lead the way.”
The three-day conference, which wraps tomorrow, is being held at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown.