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Hollywood brings sexual harassment out into the open

For many years, strong women in Hollywood have called for more equality in the motion picture industry. Fans in California may have assumed the equality female actors sought was limited to acting, directing and pay. However, recently, it is becoming clear that the women in Hollywood were likely also talking about the way they were treated by more powerful people in the industry. As once-admired and respected men are named as part of an apparently widely accepted policy of sexual harassment, more people are calling for drastic changes in the industry.

The floodgates opened when dozens of women began reporting their experiences with producer Harvey Weinstein. Allegations of sexual harassment and darker behaviors came to light, and many other women felt prompted to share their own encounters. Mostly through social media, actresses and women in other positions revealed incidents of harassment, not just from Weinstein, but from other well-known men in the industry. Many victims felt they had no choice but to comply for the sake of their careers.

Actors like Kevin Spacey and Dustin Hoffman are now facing similar consequences to those Weinstein is experiencing. This may include the termination of lucrative projects, the loss of sponsorship and the exclusion from guilds and other organizations. The revelations of the women may have begun a long-overdue revolution in Hollywood, bringing about a much-needed change in the mindset of the powerful controlling the careers of the less powerful through sexual harassment.

The stories of these women may not be much different from those many people in California and across the country experience on the job every day. Sexual harassment is never acceptable, but many find it difficult to report because of the fear of retaliation. However, the assistance of an attorney throughout the process may benefit those seeking justice for any wrongdoing they experience in the workplace.

Source: ABC News, "Is Hollywood cleaning house amid sexual misconduct scandals fallout?", Luchina Fisher, Nov. 3, 2017

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