November 20, 2019 / 10:00 PM / 19 days ago

Hollywood group launches largest-ever survey on sexual harassment

(Reuters) - Two years after the #MeToo scandal first roiled Hollywood, causing dozens of powerful men to lose their jobs, a new group on Wednesday launched what it said was the largest-ever industry-wide survey aimed at countering sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry.

The Hollywood Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality said the survey was open to anyone who “has worked or tried to work in any area of entertainment.”

The commission is chaired by Anita Hill, the law professor who became an icon for the movement against sexual harassment when she accused nominated Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991. Thomas denied her accusations.

The survey, which will be completed anonymously and online, will be used to develop policies to counter workplace harassment and bias, the commission said. A summary of findings will be released in early 2020.

“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,” Hill said in a statement.

Several Hollywood labour unions and the Academy of Motion Pictures, which organises the Oscars, have already come up with guidelines aimed at tackling sexual misconduct. These include hotlines for complaints, restrictions on holding meetings and auditions in hotels and private offices, and encouraging people to report harassment.

The Hollywood Commission, whose members include film and TV studios and talent agencies, said its survey would be open to everyone from actors and dancers to wardrobe stylists and PR agencies, making it “the largest attempt at gathering this essential data.”

Reporting by Jill Serjeant; Editing by Leslie Adler

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