The Anita Hill-led Hollywood Commission says that the problem of sexual harassment, abuse and bias in the entertainment industry hasn’t gone away away just because of the COVID-19 shutdown. In fact, it says the pandemic may “further stack the deck” against the industry’s most vulnerable.
“The Hollywood Commission was established to create an equitable future by defining and implementing best practices that eliminate sexual harassment and bias for all workers, especially marginalized communities,” the commission said Thursday in a statement on the pandemic. “Unfortunately, pandemics can further stack the deck against those populations most vulnerable in our economy. As new models of work emerge, there is likely to be a lasting impact on workplace issues in entertainment and beyond.
“The Hollywood Commission will continue to identify and support the appropriate systems to ensure equity and eliminate harassment and discrimination wherever and whenever it occurs in the entertainment industry. When we protect the safety and well-being of our fellow workers, we all benefit. This value is central to the Hollywood Commission’s mission and has never been more relevant.”
“COVID-19 makes the Hollywood Commission’s mission to protect the most vulnerable among us and provide guidance to keep workplaces safe and bias-free even more urgent and timely,” said Malia Arrington, the Commission’s executive director. “We continue to focus on our work and are developing initiatives to address the impact that COVID is having and will continue to have on entertainment industry workers.”
Founded in the wake of the 2017 Harvey Weinstein scandal, the commission — formerly known as the Hollywood Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality — launched a survey of sexual harassment, abuse and discrimination in the industry last November. The survey ended on February 24, but the commission has yet to release the results of its findings.