News & Opinion | October 28, 2020 12:52 pm

Hollywood Still Has a Huge Sexual Harassment Problem

The entertainment industry hasn't made great strides since Me Too

anita hill
A new survey from Anita Hill's Hollywood Commission finds sexual misconduct is still rampant in the entertainment industry.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Audible

Three years after the Me Too movement first exposed an epidemic of workplace sexual harassment in Hollywood, it seems little has changed. A recent survey of thousands of employees in the entertainment industry found that various forms of sexual assault and harassment remain common, and women are still disproportionately affected.

The survey, conducted by the Anita Hill-led Hollywood Commission and published Tuesday by Deadline, found that one in five of the 5,399 women surveyed reported experiencing sexual harassment at work within the past year, and one in 20 reported being sexually assaulted.

The most common form of sexual harassment reported was “unwanted sexual attention” at work, which affected 42 percent of respondents. Sexual coercion, in which career opportunities are linked to sexual cooperation, was reported by 20 percent of respondents, and five percent faced sexual assault, including unwanted touching or sexual activity.

“In each category, participants point to high rates of undesirable conduct that continues despite efforts to curtail it,” Hill said in the report. “The entertainment industry can and must do better.”

While women unsurprisingly bear the brunt of the abuse, the survey found the men of Hollywood aren’t immune to the industry’s insidious sexual practices either. Of the 4,026 men who responded to the survey, 80 reported experiencing sexual assault in the past year, more than 360 said they’d been subjected to sexual coercion, and 880 said they’d received unwanted sexual attention at work.

Ultimately, the survey, while not entirely surprising, suggests the entertainment industry still has a long way to go in addressing its sexual misconduct problem.

“I have worked in the industry for twenty years. I have been sexually assaulted and subjected to unwanted touching more times than I can count,” said one anonymous respondent. “I have no confidence that the situation is improving, despite the public statements by industry leaders professing to want to make change.”