Lately, sexual misconduct revelations seem to nonstop be released to the public, topping the news everyday. The majority of the claims have risen from Hollywood and other relevant industries. The newfound spotlight has quickly escalated since October 5th, with sexual harassment claims against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein. Currently, 76 actresses have accused the director of sexual misconduct, with Ashley Judd and Rose McGowan being one of the firsts to publicly share their stories.
Following the aftermath of Weinstein’s scandal, many celebrities as well as civilians have voiced their own experiences and have taken a stance against the once undercovered issue of sexual misconduct. Other significant accusations of sexual misconduct since then have included fellow Hollywood producer James Toback, who has accumulated a lengthy list of accusations from over 300 women, and the TED talks nonprofit organization, where at least five incidents during the Vancouver flagship event in April were recently reported.
The recently sparked conversation on sexual misconduct may not come as a surprise, as it has always been present – yet disregarded – in Hollywood. However, many individuals have been forced to stay quiet to avoid being blacklisted and risking the future of their careers. For example, director Weinstein covered his tracks by hiring private investigators and journalists to threaten the careers of industry professionals if they went public.
The recent #MeToo March in Los Angeles on November 12 is just one of the many anti-sexual harassment campaigns that have launched in reaction to the growing amount of allegations. The Equal Rights Amendment was addressed during the march and had a multitude of influential speakers who voiced their advocacy including California State Senator Connie M. Leyva and Cathy Schulman, president of Women in Film.
Additionally, Hollywood has responded by setting up an anti-sexual harassment hotline, which will be available to the public by December 1st. The efforts of Hollywood and other fields must further the pressing and widely dismissed issue of sexual misconduct in the 21st century.
As a society, efforts should be made to find a permanent solution to ensure that both men and women can feel safe everywhere, whether it be in public, at the workplace, or in more private settings. The breadth of the issue of sexual assault and harassment has been reintroduced to the public conversation, but further actions must be taken to combat individuals like producer Weinstein and to continue to advocate for change and reformation across the board for all industry fields.