Anita Hill To Lead New Commission Focused On Ending Sexual Harassment In Hollywood

More than 20 industry leaders have signed on as members.

A commission has been formed by Hollywood heavyweights in response to the numerous reports and statements revealing just how pervasive the culture of sexual assault and harassment runs in the industry. Attorney and professor Anita Hill has been named as the chairperson for the group.

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Named the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, the group hopes to steer the entertainment industry toward safer and more equitable business practices for everyone in the Hollywood, but especially women and minorities. More than 20 industry leaders attended the commission's first meeting Friday, including agent Ari Emanuel, Disney chairman Bob Iger, and CBS chairman Leslie Moonves.

"The commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power," Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said in a statement, according to Variety

Kennedy called for the group's formation earlier this year and was joined by attorney Nina Shaw, venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein, and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel, in establishing and inviting others as members of the commission. 

The commission is expected to reconvene early next year but gathered for an initial meeting Friday, where Hill was announced as the group's head.

Hill's first major public statement against sexual harassment was in October 1991 when Hill, currently a professor at Brandeis University, testified at then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas' confirmation hearing that he made sexually explicit comments toward her when she worked for him. Thomas was confirmed but, throughout her career, Hill has continued to speak out against sexual harassment and champion women's rights.

"It is time to end the culture of silence," Hill said in a statement, according to Deadline. "I've been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change."

Cover image via Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock.com

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