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The Anita Hill Commission — more formally, the Hollywood Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality — on Tuesday announced that it will prioritize protecting Hollywood’s thousands of freelance workers who often have no access to traditional workplace structures or human resources departments.
Those workers, who include writers, directors, actors and crew, have found it difficult to seek protection or redress from sexual harassment and other bias, although in the past year, above-the-line unions have begun to implement programs addressing the need.
“While the commission’s members have training and reporting systems already in place, there are still huge gaps that leave the thousands of freelancers who work in our industry unprotected,” said commission chair Anita Hill. “This is why it is essential that we confront the problem of workplace harassment and bias together. To achieve our goals of ensuring safe and respectful workplaces, eliminating sexual harassment, and advancing equality, we must ensure that everyone is protected.”
The commission said it plans to develop “a comprehensive system for reporting, addressing, and resolving claims of harassment and other forms of bias,” as well as best practices for anti-bias training and a model code of conduct.
It’s not clear how the reporting process and code of conduct would interact with those already developed by unions such as SAG-AFTRA. However, this is likely to be a topic the commission will address, as its membership includes the unions, as well as studios, television networks, streaming services, music companies, talent agencies and trade associations.
The organization was founded in December 2017 as the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements exploded. It is a policy-setting group dedicated to the elimination of sexual harassment and bias in the entertainment industry.
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