The Hollywood Commission, led by Anita Hill, releases latest report

Their Oct. 14 report was on bullying. Their next, on Oct. 27, will be on sexual harassment.

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The new results of a three-month survey exploring issues vital to Hollywood’s vast range of behind-the-scenes magic makers have been released.

The Hollywood Commission, chaired by Dr. Anita Hill and founded by Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy and talent attorney Nina Shaw, has released the third report from its landmark, industry-wide worker survey.

Dr. Anita Hill, chair of The Hollywod Commission and a professor at Brandeis University, is shown at the Vanity Fair and Lancôme “Toast Women in Hollywood” event in February 2020 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Phillip Faraone/Getty Images for Vanity Fair)

Over the course of their releases since late last month, the Hollywood Survey reports have revealed profound differences in the perceptions and experiences between men, women and other underrepresented groups in Hollywood.

The national, anonymous survey was conducted online over a three-month period, from Nov. 2019 to Feb. 2020, during which a total of 9,630 people who self-identified that they were currently working, pursuing work or had previously worked in the entertainment industry responded.

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On Sept. 29, the first Hollywood Survey report showed a desire for greater accountability for sexual malfeasance; the second, on Oct. 7, covered bias, and the Oct. 14 report was on workplace bullying. Their next one, set for release on Tuesday, Oct. 27, will be on sexual harassment and assault.

“The entertainment industry has the unique potential to tell the stories of today’s richly diverse world,” said Hill. “But to get there, the barriers to underrepresented people being valued and in ‘the room where it happens’ must be eliminated. And once they do get into ‘the room where it happens,’ they must not be the only one.”

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The Hollywood Commission survey found that across all demographics, women were twice as likely as their male counterparts to believe that they have experienced every form of biased or unfair behavior.

Among its other findings:

  • Women are twice as likely as males to report experiencing abuse workplace conduct often or very often.
  • Thirty percent of bi-/multi-racial women and 22 percent of Black women described being denied opportunities given to others in similar circumstances.
  • Men in Hollywood have an entirely different view of the presence of diversity and inclusion in the industry. Seventy-five percent of men see progress being made in welcoming and valuing diverse backgrounds, compared to 63 percent of women.
  • White men have the most positive view of progress in diversity at 78 percent, followed by Black men at 67 percent.
  • Less than half of all respondents believe diversity and inclusion are core values of the entertainment industry.

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As for how to fix inclusion issues, respondents again vary by racial makeup. Seventy-five percent of Black men thought resources to support diversity initiatives would be valuable, while only 40 percent of white men felt the same. Similarly, more Black women than white women said diversity and inclusion resources would be very useful.

The bias report prompted the Hollywood Commission to recommend that the entertainment industry establish an organizational commitment to and accountability for bias, diversity and inclusion.

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Some of the changes they propose include supporting mentorship, sponsorship and career coaching programs within organizations.

The organization is planning to launch an online training program that will allow bystanders to understand when they are witnessing harassment on the basis of gender or race.

Founded in 2017 by Kennedy and Shaw, the Hollywood Commission calls itself “a nonprofit that brings together influential entertainment companies, unions and guilds … to develop and implement cross-industry systems and processes to eradicate harassment, discrimination and power abuse and create lasting cultural change in Hollywood.”

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