Commission to tackle harassment in Hollywood

Lawyer Anita Hill named chair

by Amber Wilkinson

Kathleen Kennedy - pictured at a London screening of Rogue One - spearheaded the commission
Kathleen Kennedy - pictured at a London screening of Rogue One - spearheaded the commission Photo: Stuart C Wilson/2016 Getty Images
A special commission to tackle sexual harassment in the entertainment and media industries has been set up in the US.

The Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality will be chaired by lawyer Anita Hill, who rose to prominence in the country after alleging she was sexual harassed by now-Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation hearings. He denied the claims. In the aftermath, she has continued to play a strong role in debate regarding sexual and other misconduct in the workplace.

The new body - set up in the wake of a string of allegations made against dozens in the industry - has been championed by some of the entertainment world's most powerful women, including Star Wars producer and president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy.

Kennedy said: "The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power."

Hill said it was "time to end the culture of silence".

She added: "I've been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change,.

"I'm proud to be leading this newly-formed Commission on a long overdue journey to adopt best practices and to create institutional change that fosters a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry.

"We will be focusing on issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research, and data collection."

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