Improved Awareness but Not Accountability: Anita Hill’s Commission on Workplace Harassment Releases Second Report
The good news is that more workers in Hollywood now know how to identify workplace misconduct, and how to report it.
The bad news is that even fewer believe reporting such misconduct leads to any real results.
These are two of the key takeaways from the 2022-23 Entertainment Industry Survey, the second such report from the Anita Hill-led Hollywood Commission that was assembled in 2017 at the dawn of the MeToo movement. Updating its findings from three years ago, the Commission found that most change was related to awareness – of what constitutes unacceptable workplace behavior (from 76% of respondents to 82%), of how to share concerns (68% to 74%), of company DEI initiatives (66% to 75%), of the internal reporting process (58% to 65%) and of how to identify retaliatory responses and what to do in the event that happens (59% to 69%).
“If you look back at the history of sexual harassment, so many times what you heard initially is people did not know what to report, how to report and what to expect,” Hill tells The Hollywood Reporter of the significance of this change. “What we’ve seen over the past few years is an increase in awareness so that when people decide they are ready to make a complaint, they have an idea of what to expect. That always opens the door for a lot of activity, a lot of people raising complaints and demanding change. That awareness ultimately can lead to change in processes and procedures that are lacking. It’s a series of steps to get there.”
But those steps have not yet moved past the initial stages, according to another finding from the survey, which asked respondents to gauge the amount of progress made in combating workplace abuse of power since the MeToo movement began. In fact, workers in 2023 were more disillusioned than they were three years ago, with the majority (52% in 2020, 56% now) reporting “minimal/no progress” and even a greater proportion of men (from 55% to 62%) now agreeing with women (from 72% to 73%) that powerful people were unlikely to experience accountability. The number of people who said they experienced workplace retaliation after reporting incidents jumped from 21% to 31% – although the report notes that the increase could partly be a function of better awareness of what constitutes retaliatory action.