Anita Hill to Lead Hollywood Commission on Sexual Harassment

Posted December 15, 2017 10:12 p.m. EST

A commission headed by Anita Hill and composed of and funded by some of the most powerful names in Hollywood has been created to tackle widespread sexual abuse and harassment in the media and entertainment industries.

Called the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, the initiative was spearheaded by Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm; Maria Eitel, co-chairwoman of the Nike Foundation; the powerhouse attorney Nina Shaw; and Freada Kapor Klein, the venture capitalist who helped pioneer surveys on sexual harassment decades ago.

The commission’s mission, according to a news release, is to “tackle the broad culture of abuse and power disparity.”

“The commission will lead the entertainment industry toward alignment in achieving safer, fairer, more equitable and accountable workplaces —particularly for women and marginalized people,” according to a statement released Friday evening.

Kennedy, Eitel, Shaw and Klein called the meeting Friday, and it included some of the titans of the media and entertainment industries: agents Ari Emanuel and Bryan Lourd, Screen Actors Guild President Gabrielle Carteris, Dawn Hudson of the academy, Bob Iger of Disney, Jim Gianopulos of Paramount, Leslie Moonves of CBS and Ted Sarandos of Netflix.

“The commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and interrelated causes of the problems of parity and power,” Kennedy said, adding that the fact that so many industry leaders “came together, in one room, to explore solutions speaks to a new era.”

Hill, who brought sexual harassment to the fore in 1991 during the Senate confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, said in a statement that the commission was part of a “long overdue journey to adopt best practices and create institutional change that fosters a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry.”

The commission is to reconvene early in the new year.