On Friday, following the onslaught of women and men coming forward with sexual-harassment and assault accusations in Hollywood, dozens of leading executives in entertainment came together with independent experts and advisers to form and fund a commission dedicated to fighting gender inequality.
The Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, or “the Commission,” has a stated mission to create safer, more equitable, and accountable workplaces in the entertainment industry. Kathleen Kennedy, who called for the industry commission back in October, said that it “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.”
Anita Hill, the attorney and professor who brought accusations of sexual harassment against Justice Clarence Thomas in 1991 during his Senate confirmation hearing, is the commission chair. Her testimony helped pave the way for other victims to come forward with their stories. Hill said in a statement:
“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. It is time to end the culture of silence.
The news of the commission comes a little over a week after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled its own “standards of conduct.”