94% of women in Hollywood experience sexual harassment or assault - Viralyster

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94% of women in Hollywood experience sexual harassment or assault

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A survey has found that 94% of women employed in Hollywood have experienced sexual harassment or assault.

Conducted by USA Today in conjunction with the Creative Coalition, Women in Film and Television and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the survey had nearly 850 respondents across many branches of the film industry, including directors, actors and editors, and the vast majority reported some form of sexual misconduct.

This ranged over “unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures” (87%), “being touched in a sexual way” (69%) and “being shown sexual pictures without consent” (39%). In addition, 21% said they had been “forced to do a sexual act” and 10% that they had been “ordered unexpectedly to appear naked for auditions”.

The survey was conducted online in December and January via an email callout to bipartisan advocacy group Creative Coalition and the development group Women in Film and Television. USA Today acknowledge that the sample is self-selecting, but Anita Raj, director of the Center for Gender Equity and Health at the University of California, San Diego’s medical school, is quoted as saying the results are “credible and important”. “It makes sense to me that we would see higher numbers (in the entertainment industry),” where the ‘casting couch’ has prevailed for decades and is considered ‘normal’.”

Also reported was that only one in four made a complaint, and that of those who did, only 28% said their situation improved as a result.

Still, the findings are “credible and important,” Anita Raj, director of the Center for Gender Equity and Health at the University of California, San Diego, medical school, told USA Today.

“The percentages are higher than what we typically see for workplace abuses, but we know there is variation by the type of workplace,” Raj said. “But it makes sense to me that we would see higher numbers” in the entertainment industry.

The industry’s reckoning with misconduct has already taken down some big names, like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Matt Lauer. In January, a group of women in Hollywood created the Time’s Up initiative to combat their industry’s systemic problem with sexual harassment and assault.