Dave McNary Variety November 20, 2019 11:23AM PT
The Hollywood Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality, led by Anita Hill, has launched a survey of the entertainment industry.
Hill accused U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his Senate confirmation hearings in 1991. Since then, in addition to teaching law and policy at Brandeis University, Hill has been active in fighting against harassment and racial discrimination. She was named chair of the commission in 2017 in the wake of a multitude of sexual abuse scandals in Hollywood, sparked by revelations about Harvey Weinstein.
“Due to the heroic and brave work of many, we all now know there are serious problems of harassment, bias and mistreatment of others in Hollywood,” Hill said. “What we need to get our arms around, if we’re going to come up with effective solutions, is reliable data that reveals the specific nature and actual extent of those problems as well as the cultural environment that enables and hides them.”
“We also want to know what is going well, and how we can improve the industry for all employees,” she added. “Therefore it is important for everyone who has worked or even tried to work in the entertainment industry to partake in the survey as their experiences will tell us what we need to know.”
The Ethics & Compliance Initiative will administer the survey, which is taken anonymously online via a secure website and will be available to fill out for four weeks. The commission emphasized on Wednesday that participants will remain anonymous.
“It is designed to guarantee privacy and anonymity for all participants,” the commission said. “It will not be possible for responses to be traced back to individual participants, nor will any specific organizations be linked to any findings. The data compiled will enable the Hollywood Commission to develop initiatives aimed at protecting entertainment-industry workers many of whom are freelance and/or starting out in this industry and therefore lack access to adequate safeguards against workplace bias and harassment.”
The survey will seek data from people who are professionally involved in any aspect of the entertainment industry, including actors, directors, producers, writers, musicians, singers, dancers, crafts people, hair and makeup artists, wardrobe and costume stylists, technicians, drivers, assistants, agents, managers, publicists and executives.
“The more varied the mix of industry employees, freelance, long term, support staff, executives, etc. who participate in the survey, the more illuminating and useful it will be,” Hill said. “At the end of the day, the aim here is to help us develop as complete an understanding as possible of the issues facing the entire industry. The number of survey responses will also tell us how serious and purposeful Hollywood is at solving the systemic problems it has been so dogged at illuminating.”
The results of the survey are expected to be released in early 2020. The survey is available at this website.
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*Headline photo is featured in Mr. McNary’s Variety article