Women in Film Pleads With Men to "Step Up and Speak Out" on Sexual Harassment

Getty Images
Harvey Weinstein

The non-profit also claimed that more reports of harassment in the entertainment industry may be yet to come.

Women in Film, a non-profit dedicated to advocacy and advancing the careers of women working in the screen industries, is offering its take on sexual harassment in the industry in the wake of allegations of rape and sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein.

In a written statement issued Tuesday, the group encouraged women to continue speaking up about sexual harassment, and condemned "other men in power" who "knew about Weinstein's behavior and didn't say anything."

It also said that Weinstein might only be the beginning. "We will likely hear about other men in the entertainment industry who have harassed women, because the problem is far more widespread than people have been willing to discuss publicly," the statement read.

On Tuesday, not even 48 hours after Weinstein's termination from The Weinstein Co., The New Yorker published its full report detailing rape allegations against the Hollywood mogul by three women. That story comes on the heels of last Thursday's New York Times exposé that outlined decades of sexual harassment claims leveled against Weinstein.

Women in Film is also asking men in the industry to step up: "We need our male colleagues — who have mothers, sisters, daughters and friends — to step up and speak out now and whenever they are witness to discrimination of any kind."

The group also proposed that industry leaders should mandate gender-inclusive boards and leaders and more inclusive hiring, and ensure that "lasting legal penalties be applied without compromise, bias or settlement, and these penalties be enforced for those found guilty and complicit in these crimes of discrimination."

Read the full statement below.

Women In Film has been speaking with individual press outlets since the story about Harvey Weinstein broke. With the escalation of the story, and the conversation this has opened up nationally and worldwide, we are making this statement.

Women In Film encourages women to continue speaking up about sexual harassment, which is an all-too-common form of discrimination. That so many people, particularly other men in power, knew about Harvey Weinstein’s behavior and didn’t say anything is an indication of how deeply entrenched discrimination is in the film & TV business — and in culture overall.

We are hearing more and more shocking accounts from women affected by Harvey Weinstein’s behavior; women emboldened to finally speak up because others have before them.  We will likely hear about other men in the entertainment industry who have harassed women, because the problem is far more widespread than people have been willing to discuss publicly.

In order to do something to end sexual harassment, we must require Industry leaders to: (1) mandate gender inclusive boards and decision making groups (2) mandate inclusive hiring practices from the top down, from executives to support staff. Ensuring that there are more women in positions of power will change the culture and result in decreased sexual harassment and discrimination overall (3) mandate that lasting legal penalties be applied without compromise, bias or settlement, and these penalties be enforced for those found guilty and complicit in these crimes of discrimination. The bottom line is that no one should be held to different standards; regardless of their power, money or fame.

Women need allies. We need our male colleagues – who have mothers, sisters, daughters and friends – to step up and speak out now and whenever they are witness to discrimination of any kind.

comments powered by Disqus