Top Hollywood Execs Unveil Anti-Sexual Harassment Commission Chaired by Anita Hill

Anita Hill, Kathleen Kennedy and Nina Shaw_Split - Getty - H 2017
Getty Images

The recent convening of leaders was organized by Kathleen Kennedy, Maria Eitel, Nina Shaw and Freada Kapor Klein.

Kathleen Kennedy’s proposed industry commission to combat gender inequality is coming to fruition, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Two dozen top entertainment executives have come together to form and fund the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, which will be chaired by Anita Hill. The attorney and Brandeis law professor was one of the first whistleblowers on sexual harassment, when she testified against Clarence Thomas during his 1991 Senate confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court. She sits on the boards of directors for the National Women’s Law Center and the Boston Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights, and has also chaired the Human Rights Committee of the International Bar Association.

“I’m proud to be leading this newly-formed Commission on a long overdue journey to adopt best practices and to create institutional change that fosters a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry,” Hill said Friday in a statement. “We will be focusing on issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research and data collection. It is time to end the culture of silence. I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.”

In mid-October, when the revelations of sexual misconduct in the industry were still largely confined to allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kennedy used her speech at Elle’s Women in Hollywood event to call for a multi-disciplinary commission, funded by the industry, to implement protections against sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood’s workplaces. The Lucasfilm president, along with Nike Foundation founder and co-chair Maria Eitel, Del Shaw partner Nina Shaw and venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein, subsequently invited top entertainment leaders to a meeting where they unanimously agreed to establish and fund the commission, which will reconvene early next year to define its mission, scope and priorities.

“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,” Kennedy said in a statement. “The fact that so many industry leaders — across film, television, music, digital, unions, agencies, ATA, AMPAS, Television Academy and guilds — came together, in one room, to explore solutions speaks to a new era.”

The meeting to form the commission was attended by:

Ari Emanuel, William Morris Endeavor co-chair
Bob Iger, Disney chairman/CEO
Bryan Lourd, CAA co-chair
Carol Lombardini, Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers president
Chris Silbermann, ICM Partners managing director
David Young, Writers Guild of America executive director
Dawn Hudson, Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences CEO
Gabrielle Carteris, SAG-AFTRA president
Jeff Blackburn, Amazon senior vp business development
Jeff Shell, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chair
Jeremy Zimmer, UTA CEO
Jim Gianopulos, Paramount chair/CEO
Karen Stuart, Association of Talent Agents executive director
Kevin Tsujihara, Warner Bros. chair/CEO
Maury McIntyre, Television Academy president/COO
Mike Miller, Motion Picture & TV Production/IATSE 4th international vp/department director
Russ Hollander, Directors Guild of America executive director
Sir Lucian Grainge, Universal Music Group chair/CEO
Susan Sprung, Producers Guild of America associate national executive director/COO
Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer
Tony Vinciquerra, Sony chair/CEO
Julie Greenwald, Atlantic Records chair/COO
Leslie Moonves, CBS Corp. chair/CEO
Neil Portnow, Recording Academy president