By now you’ve probably heard about the numerous sexual harassment allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein that have rocked Hollywood. It all started when the New York Times released the news detailing Weinstein’s alleged actions and naming Ashley Judd as one of his first public accusers. Since then, over 40 actors and models have come forward accusing the powerful mogul of inappropriate advances and even rape.
Hollywood’s dirtiest secret – the casting couch– isn’t a secret anymore. One of the most recurring Weinstein scenarios consisted of “business meetings” that were just fronts for Weinstein to propose a massage in his hotel room. Actresses Rosanna Arquette and Jessica Barth said they were faced with this exact situation. Other stars that have spoken out against Weinstein include:
Since the scandal surfaced, women in all walks of life have started speaking out against their harassers as part of the #MeToo movement. #MeToo originated as a tweet by Alyssa Milano asking everyone who had been assaulted or harassed to #MeToo in order to demonstrate the magnitude of the sexual harassment problem. Over 1.7 million tweets have since included the hashtag #MeToo.
If you’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet. pic.twitter.com/k2oeCiUf9n
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) October 15, 2017
The goal was to show that sexual harassment is bigger than Harvey Weinstein and bigger even than Hollywood. “No more Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood does not solve the problem, but maybe the more voices sharing their stories and adding support to the countless women and men who have suffered through abuse of power, the less it will be tolerated,” wrote Minka Kelly in an Instagram post.
Director James Toback and even the 41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, are among the several powerful men that have been called out for sexual assault since the Weinstein scandal. According to CNN, “The women said Toback would lure them to hotel rooms, movie trailers, and other places for what was billed as interviews or auditions.” The women then go on to describe these meetings as sexual in nature.
Heather Lind is the actress who accused President G.H.W. Bush of allegedly touching her inappropriately twice and telling her a “dirty joke.” The former President apologized for the behavior, only to face an accusation from another woman as well.
Sexual Harassment in the entertainment industry has been an issue for decades and up to this point had continued to be dismissed or swept under the rug. Take a look at Bill O’Reilly, who received a four-year contract extension from 21st Century Fox after settling a sexual harassment suit with a 32 million dollar payment. Even though Fox News eventually ousted O’Reilly in April 2017, the network was aware that he was being sued before renewing his contract.
Have you experienced sexual harassment in the motion picture, television, reality-TV, television news, or digital production fields? The laws against this behavior apply whether you work for a multi-billion dollar network or an informal production house. Actors aren’t the only industry people targeted.
Potential victims include: Production Assistants, Make-Up Artists, Extras and Lesser-Known Stars, Art and Sound people, Camera Production Members, Directors Associates, Production Coordinators and Location Scouts, Production Company Assistants, Agency Assistants, Agency Mailroom Workers, Management Company Assistants, Development Employees, Studio Employees, Personal Assistants and Interns. These are just some of the positions in which people could experience sexual harassment in Hollywood. If you work in any of these (or other related) jobs and have been subjected to unwelcome advances from anyone at work, including your boss, coworkers or even a client, it’s important that you come forward.
The Carter Law Firm is a top California employment and labor attorney office with expertise in sexual harassment cases. If you have been a victim of sexually harassing behavior, or know someone who has, please reach out to us in the contact form below.
We realize that discretion is paramount in this area and your response will be kept completely confidential.