Anita Hill Named to Lead Hollywood Commission on Sexual Harassment
In the wake of the ever increasing tide of sexual harassment scandals flooding the media and headlines, Hollywood has sought out the leadership of a woman who knows the issue first-hand.
Last week, key Hollywood executives—including CBS CEO Les Moonves, Oscar winning producer Kathleen Kennedy, attorney Nina Shaw and Disney’s Bob Iger—united to form and Commission on Sexual and named as their chair, Anita Hill. Hill, an attorney and professor of social policy, law, and women's studies at Brandeis University, made national headlines in 1991 when she accused then U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—who she had worked under during her tenure at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — of sexual harassment.
"Following widespread revelations of pervasive sexual harassment and assault in the media and entertainment industries, executives, independent experts and advisors have come together in a unanimous effort to tackle the broad culture of abuse and power disparity," the group said in a statement.
In the more than two decades since her televised testimony during Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ Senate confirmation hearings—which included his alleged acts of sexual prowess and details of his anatomy— riveted the nation, Hill has dedicated her life to ending the culture of silence surrounding sexual harassment in the workplace.
The decision to name Hill did not sit well with everybody.
Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, a Christian advocacy group was highly critical of the move.
“Anita Hill is not the answer to ending sexual misconduct in Hollywood,” Nance said. “When Ms. Hill had the opportunity to step up and defend the powerless against President Bill Clinton’s sexual misconduct, her instinct was to defend him because his politics happened to be liberal.”
Criticism aside, Kathleen Kennedy, who was instrumental in the formation of the commission, said that it will not seek just one solution but “a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and interrelated causes of the problems of parity and power.”
"I've been at this work for 26 years”, Hill said in a statement. “This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change."