Sexual Harassment in Hollywood: Sit Down, Blind Ignorance

sexual harrassment

If there’s one major take away from the sexual harassment and assault allegations coming to the forefront right now, it’s this: it’s time to believe women and for creeps in power to be held accountable. Let’s not undermine those risking their careers, privacy, and emotional well-being to come forward and call truth to power. It’s sheer bravery.

Before you send that tweet or make that daft, ignorant remark defending sexual predators (I’m looking at you, Lena Dunhams, and Stassi Schroeders of the world), here are some things to keep in mind:

She Wasn’t Asking For It Then, And She’s (Definitely) Not Asking For It Now

No circumstance should ever justify being raped, assaulted, or harassed. Although we are beginning to see some justice served (even if only for the optics of it) calling truth to power is a hard enough thing to do. To question those coming forward and claim that their experience was untrue, attention-seeking, or somehow justified, is silencing and hurtful to victims of sexual harassment and assault.

Recognize Your Privilege

Don’t be a Matt Damon and slap a “not all men” statement on this topic.

It’s uncomfortable, but if you haven’t had these experiences or been witness to them know that, as sad as it is, that’s actually a privilege. No matter your gender, the #metoo movement should have been a testament to just how common sexual harassment and assault really is. It needs to be addressed and there needs to be clear consequences in place.

Believe Women

That’s wonderful that you had such a great experience working with [insert name here], but clearly, if someone makes an allegation, you have no authority to talk about the incident unless the statement clearly indicates you were there or somehow involved. Speaking against someone who likely took a gigantic risk to come forward, is both tactless and counterproductive. Especially if you consider yourself a feminist (or let’s be honest, just even just a decent human being). It’s abysmal that this even needs to be spelled out.

For anyone who has experienced sexual harassment in film and television industry, Women In Film has opened up hotline you can call into with pro-bono legal aid. See Deadline Article here for details.   

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