Top stars have made allegations against major Hollywood figures regarding sexual harassment in the film industry, but the prevalence of the problem goes far beyond the acting profession. Relatively, few women work in the male-dominated world of film crews, but they are especially vulnerable not only to gender discrimination, but to sexual harassment. For women working in this Hollywood’s boy’s club, such harassment is a part of working life.
According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, many women working behind the scenes in the film industry report open hostility from male colleagues. This attitude is most often directed toward young women just beginning their careers. An astonishing 94 percent of women working in the industry said they had experienced sexual harassment during their careers, which is virtually every female.
Women who worked in other industries prior to entering film say they had never encountered this level of harassment and hostility in other types of workplaces. Many of the women quoted in the Huffington Post did not want identification beyond their first names because they feared for their future careers.
The System is Broken
For a substantial percentage of female film crew members, the atmosphere on set is too toxic to continue working in the business, and they decide to leave for other fields. Even those passionately dedicated to their film careers have considered other occupations. Reporting unruly behavior and harassment does not obtain results and may cause women complaining about such incidents to end up labeled as difficult and informally blacklisted. That appears as the case even when women report these transgressions to their union representatives. One woman described working on a film crew as death by a thousand cuts.
Consequences are Necessary
Before the MeToo movement, there were no real consequences for men harassing women in Hollywood. The fall of Harvey Weinstein and the fates of other major figures in the entertainment business and media may change that, but it is too early to tell if men on film sets are getting the message. Women who have been harassed say nothing will change until the men responsible for this behavior lose their jobs. Opening more work on film sets to women may also change the culture. Unfortunately, the constant sexual pressure, innuendos, and comments are driving many talented young female film workers away from the industry. When women make up a higher percentage of the crew, they feel more comfortable and sexual harassment is less frequent.
On the average film set, as many as 90 percent of crew members are male, and harassment is practically a given. When Frances McDormand won the Oscar at this year’s Academy Awards, she mentioned inclusion riders in her acceptance speech. That means requesting a diverse film crew and cast. As more stars demand inclusion riders, perhaps the fate of women behind the scenes in Hollywood will improve.
Bucks County Sexual Harassment Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Advocate for Victims Harmed in the Workplace
If you or a loved one has been the victim of sexual harassment, you need the services of the experienced Bucks County sexual harassment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates, P.C. Please call us today at 215-569-1999 or contact us online for a free initial consultation. We are centrally located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.