Hollywood execs are taking the rampant problem of sexual harassment into their own hands, founding and funding a commission to explore solutions and naming Anita Hill as the chair.
The Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace was established Friday, with support from the heads of some of the country’s largest entertainment companies.
“Following widespread revelations of pervasive sexual harassment and assault in the media and entertainment industries, executives, independent experts, and advisors have come together in a unanimous effort to tackle the broad culture of abuse and power disparity,” said a statement.
Hill is not the only woman of color leading the effort against sexual harassment; the commission grew out of a meeting that was convened by powerful women including entertainment attorney Nina Shaw, who spoke about diversity in Hollywood at the 2017 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, and venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein, who addressed diversity in the tech industry at this year’s TechConneXt Summit.
“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 in a statement.
“It is time to end the culture of silence,” she continued. “This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.”
Hill, a 2012 Women of Power Legacy Award recipient, noted in her statement that she has been doing this work for 26 years, since she made sexual harassment part of the national conversation during Justice Clarence Thomas’ Senate confirmation hearings. Our World With Black Enterprise had an exclusive interview with Hill that same year, where she opened up about her experience after telling her truth.
In our interview, Hill restated that she stands by her testimony. “It was the right thing to do and I’ll tell you why,” Hill says. “People say, ‘Well, it was a sexual harassment claim against him.’ But really it was a testimony about the integrity of the individual.”
She also speaks about how public opinion has changed in the years since she came forward, and how encouraged she is to see that more women are believed when they speak up: