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Panel to study sexual harassment in entertainment

HOLLYWOOD — Some of the most powerful figures in the entertainment industry are coming together to form a commission that will tackle the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace.

The Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace is being formed in response to widespread revelations of pervasive sexual harassment and assault in the media and entertainment industries, a cascade of revelations that started in early October with multiple accusations against former Weinstein Company co-founder Harvey Weinstein.

Attorney and professor Anita Hill, who gained notoriety in 1991 when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee about alleged sexual harassment committed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, will chair the commission.

“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,” Hill said.

“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,” Hill added. “It is time to end the culture of silence. I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.”

The plan was finalized at a meeting convened by producer and Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, with the support of a cross section of women in the entertainment industry.

“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,” Kennedy said. “The fact that so many industry leaders — across film, television, music, digital, unions, agencies, ATA, AMPAS, television academy and guilds — came together, in one room, to explore solutions speaks to a new era.”

The commission, which is expected to meet after the first of the year to begin defining its mission, scope, and priorities, includes the following people: Jeff Blackburn, senior vice president of business development for Amazon; Gabrielle Carteris, president of the Screen Actors Guild/AFTRA; Ari Emanuel, co-chair of William Morris Endeavor; Jim Gianopulos, chairman and CEO of Paramount; and Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group.

Other members include Julie Greenwald, chairman and COO of Atlantic Records; Russ Hollander, executive director of the Directors Guild of America; Dawn Hudson, CEO of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences; Bob Iger, chairman and CEO of Disney; and Bryan Lourd, co-chairman of Creative Artists Agency.

Also serving on the commission are Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers; Maury McIntyre, president and COO of Television Academy; Mike Miller, fourth International vice president and department director of motion picture and TV production for IATSE; Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of the CBS Corp.; and Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy.

More members include: Ted Sarandos, chief content officer at Netflix; Jeff Shell, chairman of Universal Filmed Entertainment Group; Chris Silbermann, founding partner of ICM Partners; Susan Sprung, associate executive director of the Producers Guild of America; Karen Stuart, executive director of the Association of Talent Agents; Kevin Tsujihara, chairman and CEO of Warner Bros; Tony Vinciquerra, chairman and CEO of Sony; David Young, executive director of the Writers Guild of America; and Jeremy Zimmer, CEO of United Talent Agency.

 

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