Hollywood Commission Developing Program to Prevent and Investigate Sex Abuse at Production Companies

HOLLYWOOD - FEBRUARY 2: Producer Scott Rudin attends the 7th Annual PGA Nominees Breakfast and panel discussion presented by The Hollywood Reporter at The Highlands February 2, 2008 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)
Vince Bucci/Getty Images

The Hollywood Commission, headed by Anita Hill, is teaming up with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to institute a program to investigate sex abuse allegations and set up a system to help small production companies deal with misconduct allegations and prevent further cases.

“Independent production companies face a number of unique challenges,” the commission said in a statement Tuesday, according to Deadline. “They are often small in size and lack adequate resources and internal expertise to put systems in place that prevent workplace misconduct. In addition, victim reporting options at these companies are limited and at times require victims to bring complaints to their abuser.”

This month, the Hollywood Commission, headed by Anita Hill, released the findings of a recent survey, saying that assistants still bear the brunt of executive abuse, experiencing two to three times more bullying behavior than other entertainment industry employees.

The survey results came just as two high-profile workplace abuse scandals continued to rile the entertainment industry. Accusations of misconduct against The Ellen DeGeneres Show producers kicked off months of negative headlines. Within months, DeGeneres announceded that she’s ending her show after 20 year on the air. Meanwhile, Hollywood and Broadway power producer Scott Rudin said he would step back from his many productions after increased accusations of abuse claimed by his staffers. These incidents themselves came on the heels of the massive expose of the sexual abuse allegations lodged against Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinstein.

The Hollywood Commission is teaming with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group that often works with farmworkers to further human rights and combat human trafficking and gender-based violence at work.

“The commission said that it intends to model the project after the CIW’s Fair Food Program, a partnership among farmers, farmworkers, and retail food companies that ensures fair wages and working conditions for farmworkers by harnessing the power of consumer demand while working to eliminate the longstanding abuses that have plagued the agriculture industry for generations,” Deadline reported.

“There are myriad lessons for Hollywood to glean from the approach, execution, and success of CIW and the Fair Food Program in eradicating sexual harassment from an industry devoid of accountability and rife with abuse,” Anita Hill said Tuesday. “Building on the existing work of the Hollywood Commission, this partnership will help us create a blueprint to address and prevent misconduct in independent production companies, and ultimately, we hope, forge a safer and more equitable workplace environment in Hollywood.”

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