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Sexual Harassment in Hollywood and the Workplace

Sexual Harassment in Hollywood and the Workplace. Photo Credit: DiversityPlus.com

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Is there anywhere that a qualified woman can just perform her job without being subjected to unwanted sexual advances? Sexual harassment in Hollywood and the workplace. What is the state of gender equality, gender respect in our culture? The fact is that gender inequality still rules the day in almost every aspect of American culture.

Unfortunately, the barrage of recent accusations from almost every corner of Hollywood—involving a powerful successful major film producer, a chef, a photographer—seem to have opened a flood gate of horrendous harassment, assault and abuse.

More revelations are coming from other areas of the employment landscape. There have been more new reports about major media personalities like Bill O’Reilly and now Mark Halperin. Many women are coming forth, joining the chorus of those who have experienced various levels and types of unwanted advances from men with whom they work or from whom they are seeking employment.

Some of the sexual harassment in Hollywood and the workplace happened decades ago. While revelations, large and small, have been coming to public attention for a while, they seem not be a deterrent even when millions of dollars are paid in settlements in an effort to buy silence.

sexual harassment in Hollywood, media, and the workplace

Sexual harassment in Hollywood and the workplace. Photo Credit: CohenJaffe.com

Among the most recent woman to come out is Rep. Jackie Speier who tells of being the victim of sexual harassment as a Congressional intern. She even speaks about a culture of sexual harassment on Capitol Hill. Also, several female reporters are speaking out about their reluctance or the safety measures they took when interviewing senators who had a reputation of being perpetrators of unwanted sexual advances.

Sexual harassment in Hollywood and the workplace. So, where isn’t there sexual harassment, in some cases outright sexual abuse and rape, occurring against women? Many of them unsuspecting and defenseless. Where are we when it comes to gender equality in every aspect of our way of life in America?

The “Me Too” campaign to get women—from all walks of life from the famous to the unknown—to speak out about their experiences is raising hope that this may be the beginning of bringing about real change for women no matter in what industry they work. More evidence of the prevalence of gender disrespect and gender inequality.

But, will it? Or, will the outcry fade or fall on deaf ears once the revelations move off the headlines of the day? Where will there be justice and refuge for the thousands, no doubt millions, of women who are subjected to sexual harassment in Hollywood and the workplace?

A sea change will require addressing real issues of gender inequality, putting strong policies in place  with rigorous enforcement, and executing swift justice when they are not.

It will take a sustained effort by women, partnering with caring men to bring it about. Maybe, at least the recent revelations about sexual harassment in Hollywood and the workplace will be a real beginning to address gender inequality.

Feature Photo: CNNMoney.com

Sexual Harassment in Hollywood and the Workplace

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Janice Ellis
Janice Ellis
Janice S. Ellis, PhD, is an award-winning author. Her book, From Liberty to Magnolia: In Search of the American Dream is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and other major book sellers. She has written a column for newspapers, radio, and now online, where she analyzes educational, political, social and economic issues across race, ethnicity, age and socio-economic status. You can see her writings on this website.


  1. Tracy says:

    No one, man or woman, should have to be a victim of sexual harassment in the workplace. America should have stronger laws and punishment for this. After all, this is a person’s livelihood at stake.

  2. jack daniel says:

    When it comes to Hollywood there is alot of grey areas when it comes to sexual harassment. There are alot of women who want to take advantage of rich celebrities.

  3. Danielle says:

    No one deserves suffer sexual harashment, however, women and kids are more expossed to this horrible sittuations. It makess me happy when this sittuation is exposed and have faces, because it talks about a true that has happened and is currently happening. Talking about this will beneffit women and will help to attack the problem.

  4. Manny says:

    Sexual advances is a big no no to any office. Men shouldn’t do that to women. I think there should be programs regarding gendaer awareness to prevent or lessen the occurrence of sexual harassment.

  5. David Mureithi says:

    It’s very disappointing to this happening to women. Women need a voice to zero these case.

  6. Franco Cameron says:

    It’s sad that it has to happen in hollywood before we finally realize how big of a problem it is and that we really need to do something about harassment. Nonetheless it’s a start.

  7. Matt says:

    Sexual harassment in work place needs to stopped by all and sundry even the ones that artists in Hollywood go through.This shouldn’t be heard of in a civilised country like America. Women must come together to speak out and up against this. God bless America.

  8. Marco Lopez says:

    This article is a bit gender biased, IMHO. Is there anywhere that a qualified woman can just perform her job without being subjected to unwanted sexual advances – yes, there are a lot of places where people, not only women, are respected in the workplace. Somehow, we need to remember that it’s not only women who are being subjected to unwanted sexual advances — men are victims too. It’s because of these articles and gender inequality that men are afraid to call out their aggressors. Sexual harassment does not only happen against women.

  9. cherry says:

    Sexual harassment against women as been there for a decade now and it will need the voices of women to speak and partner with other good men to stamp out sexual harrasment.I longing for a world free of harrasment for women.

  10. Vikram Parmar says:

    Hollywood is exceptional. It is unique in many ways.

    Hollywood is a unique workplace and is not typical in any way. The uniqueness comes from the fact that the workplace is not a monolithic location where a person works with the same people day in and day out. Instead, people are paid to pretend the

  11. Lyn says:

    The key here is consistency. As women, we have to be consistent in fighting against all forms of abuse. Even when the MeToo campaigns cease to make headlines, we should still be firm in fighting for our rights and not let all these efforts go to waste.

  12. Scott Summers says:

    I do not understand when people do this I mean if the parties are single why not just be up front with it? Besides hello just go in a club or what. Never the less sexual advances are not and will never be cool.

  13. Willie Anderson says:

    Hollywood is a unique workplace and is not typical in any way. The uniqueness comes from the fact that the workplace is not a monolithic location where a person works with the same people day in and day out. Instead, people are paid to pretend the are other people and to put themselves into emotional tempting situations where many of the emotions required to make a particular scene authentic can not be turned on and off like tap water. So it was and is commonplace for infidelity and immorality to go mostly unchecked because it was encouraged or welcomed under the guise of playing a scene in a movie. Movie studios seldom got personally involved in such matters unless the personal conduct of their top stars somehow adversely impacted their profitability. But Hollywood’s uniqueness allowed sexual exploitation to thrive. And I draw a clear distinction between sexual harassment and sexual exploitation. I would say there was not a whole lot of sexual harassment going on in Hollywood; but there was lots of sexual exploitation because there was such a wide disparity between the rich producers and the young unknown actresses from some small town looking to make it big in the movies. In many cases their choices were limited to starving or choosing to accept a movie role which required them to provide sexual favors to the various producers to get their careers on tract. The power differential between the producers and young actresses is the way the producers held sway over many young actresses who wanted to work in Hollywood. It has been a dirty little secret for many years. The actresses who have achieved some measure of financial success and independence have found their courage and their voice to speak up. But when economics are factored into the equation, most actresses choose to exercise their right to remain silent. Otherwise they don’t work. This activity is not unique to any one individual but is pervasive and it would be nothing less than amazing if anything is done to dismantle this den of vipers and their wanton objectification and abuse of young female actors. But like I stated earlier, Hollywood is unique from most workplaces and sexual exploitation is the currency that allows a nobody to become somebody. But she must sell her soul and her body and most of the time not willingly.

  14. Nicole says:

    It will only change when women are in power who do not want any part of that.

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