Commission established to combat sexual misconduct in Hollywood

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Anita Hill speaks at a discussion about sexual harassment and how to create lasting change from the scandal roiling Hollywood at United Talent Agency in Beverly Hills, California, US on December 8, 2017. ( AP )

Anita Hill, an attorney and academic, will helm the commission tasked with taking on the pervasive issue which took centre stage after an avalanche of sexual harrassment accusations hit media mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The biggest figures and institutions in entertainment have established a commission to be chaired by Anita Hill that intends to combat sexual misconduct and inequality in the industry in the wake of the huge wave of revelations spurred by allegations against Harvey Weinstein.

A statement on Friday announced the founding of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, a group that grew out of a meeting called by Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy and several other prominent women in the industry.

“The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and interrelated causes of the problems of parity and power,” Kennedy said in a statement.

Who is Anita Hill ?

The group chose as its chair the law professor Hill who brought the concept of sexual harassment to national consciousness in 1991 when she testified during the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of now Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.

The chief executives of nearly every major Hollywood studio, TV network and record label attended the meeting and agreed to found and to fund the group, the statement said.

The long list includes Disney CEO Bob Iger, Paramount CEO Karen Stuart, Universal Music Group CEO Sir Lucian Grainge and CBS chief executive Leslie Moonves.

The commission said in its statement that it would reconvene immediately after the first of the year to hone its mission, scope and priorities.

The revelations about Weinstein in The New York Times and TheNew Yorker in October have brought on two months unlike any the media world has ever seen, with nearly daily allegations of sexual harassment, assault and abuse involving some of the most prominent players in entertainment including Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, Dustin Hoffman and Russell Simmons.

Sexual abuse in Canadian sports

The director of the Canadian women’s gymnastics team, David Brubaker, was arrested and charged in court with 10 counts of sex crimes, police said.

Brubaker, who coached Canada’s 2016 Olympics team, was arrested on Thursday and charged on Friday, police in Sarnia, Ontario said in a statement on Friday.

Gymnastics Canada, the national governing body for the sport, said in a statement that Brubaker was on administrative leave. It said it was “shocked and deeply troubled” by the charges.

Brubaker was charged with three counts of sexual assault, three counts of sexual exploitation, three counts of sexual interference and one count of invitation to sexual touching, police said.

Brubaker was released on bail pending a February court date, the police statement said.

A US judge earlier this month sentenced Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor, to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges. The case grew out of an investigation into allegations he sexually assaulted gymnasts.

Some sexual assault and harassment allegations have surfaced in Canada since the #MeToo movement began this year in the United States in response to allegations against prominent people in the entertainment industry, the media and politics.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies