The formation of a music and entertainment industry Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace was announced last week. To be chaired by Anita Hill, the commission is a creation of a group of entertainment industry executives in response to an ever-growing range of accusations of sexual harassment, abuse and rape by power players in the industry.
Music industry participants include UMG CEO Lucian Grainge, Sony CEO Tony Vinciquerra, Atlantic Records COO Julie Greenwald and Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy.
The news comes just as the NYPD starts an investigation into accusations against Russell Simmons, a sexual battery lawsuit is filed against Gene Simmons and Chelsea Wolf cancels an Australian tour after sexual misconduct accusations are directed at the promoter.
In the announcement of the Commission’s formation on Friday, as shared by The Hollywood Reporter, famed attorney and law professor Anita Hill states:
“I’m proud to be leading this newly-formed Commission on a long overdue journey to adopt best practices and to create institutional change that fosters a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry…We will be focusing on issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research and data collection. It is time to end the culture of silence. I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.”
Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy, who proposed the Commission, stated:
“The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power…The fact that so many industry leaders — across film, television, music, digital, unions, agencies, ATA, AMPAS, Television Academy and guilds — came together, in one room, to explore solutions speaks to a new era.”