New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

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#1 New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby fountainhall » Sun Dec 17, 2017 12:29 pm

Clarence Thomas is unlikely to be too pleased as it will likely throw the spotlight, albeit a weak one by now, back on him. A Special Commission to Combat Harassment in the Entertainment business has been established in Hollywood (well, I suppose the Supreme Court could be looked on as a form of entertainment :o ). And who has been elected as it Chairperson? None other than Anita Hill!

A special commission to combat sexual harassment in the entertainment and media industries will be chaired by lawyer and academic Anita Hill.

The first meeting of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace was attended by a wide range of industry giants.

Spearheaded by female executives, including Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy, it will reconvene in 2018.

It comes after a string of allegations made against dozens in Hollywood.

The group was announced on Friday following a meeting convened by Ms Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, Nike co-chair Maria Eitel, lawyer Nina Show and venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein.

A wide range of industry leaders attended the first meeting, including the chairman of Disney, Warner Brothers, Sony and Universal
.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-42382106

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#2 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby Gaybutton » Sun Dec 17, 2017 5:46 pm

I'm opposed to such a committee. If somebody is a victim of sexual harassment, they can go to the police.

What's next? People losing their entire careers because they made the mistake of telling a sexual joke to someone who didn't appreciate the humor?

But a committee like this? "Are you now or have you ever been a groper?"

I see history repeating itself - time for a new Hollywood blacklist. I can hardly wait to see who will be the first to fall . . .

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#3 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 19, 2017 8:34 am

Gaybutton wrote:I'm opposed to such a committee. If somebody is a victim of sexual harassment, they can go to the police.

Respectfully, the notion of only providing the option of going to the cops seems to exhibit some blindness to the whole problem.

First, there is the natural inclination of victims of this type of activity to never speak out about it for various reasons - some being economic (don't want to lose their jobs or even have the ability to have any interruption to their stream of income) but, I suspect, mostly because of perceived embarrassment. Whether it's right or wrong, we don't talk about this kind of stuff with just about anybody.

Second, the notion that cops have the ability to appropriately interview a victim is ludicrous in my opinion (while I'm sure that there are a few cops around that would be great at this, the average detective I've known over the years has the social skills of a dinosaur.....and I don't want to even imagine the social skills of the city cops in some smaller towns just about anywhere in the US). While a few of the larger departments have officers who've been trained to better handle victims of sexual violence, the reality is that smaller departments neither provide the training nor could afford to provide specialized officers; besides, what we're talking about here for the most part is sexual harassment, not criminal sexual behavior (unless and until acts cross the criminal line, the police departments wouldn't have any jurisdiction to even investigate the matter in the first place).

Yes, sometimes the pendulum swings too far but, as far as I'm concerned, I'm rather enjoying the recent swing to the left as women (most of the victims of sexual harassment) in general have been treated like crap forever.

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#4 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:32 am

Bob wrote:Respectfully, the notion of only providing the option of going to the cops seems to exhibit some blindness to the whole problem.

I will concede that going to the police might not be the best solution, but in my opinion such a self-appointed committee is even worse.

I agree that women have been treated badly for far too long - worldwide. I don't know what would be the best solution to this specific problem, but the way I see it, this committee 'ain't it.'

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#5 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby Bob » Tue Dec 19, 2017 10:51 am

Gaybutton wrote:...I agree that women have been treated badly for far too long - worldwide. I don't know what would be the best solution to this specific problem, but the way I see it, this committee 'ain't it.'

If it encourages discussion of the issue and assists women with coming forward with their complaints (and suggestions for solutions), it can't hurt. But I agree that no committee is going to be a great solution and perhaps it'll take a whole lot of discussion and another generation or two of men to actually view and treat women as their equals (or...god forbid to some....their superiors!).

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#6 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby Gaybutton » Tue Dec 19, 2017 12:54 pm

Bob wrote:it can't hurt.

That is where you and I disagree. I think it not only can hurt, but will hurt.

I certainly agree that women, men - anyone who is the victim of sexual harassment should be able to have somewhere to go for help, but this "committee" can, and I believe will, hurt innocent people who themselves become the victims of vindictive people who hold some sort of grudge.

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#7 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby fountainhall » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:12 am

I have to agree with Bob when he says that going to the police is definitely not the answer. Police, I assume, require evidence to make a case that can be argued in a court of law. But as we all know, in almost all cases of sexual harassment the only likely proof will be on cctv camera footage or if the events have actually been witnessed by others. Yet in how many cases has this happened? Almost none. Anita Hill's testimony 26 years ago was credible to, I suspect, the majority of those who saw her grilling on television. Instead of vindication, all she received from the U. S. Senate was humiliation. Instead of her allegations being properly investigated, they were treated as garbage and the man who allegedly harassed her - and whose demeanour on television convinced me that he was guilty of the allegations - has sat on the Supreme Court for all these years.

Admittedly that is an extreme example. But it highlights the very real problems in almost all cases of harassment. One is the lack of proof! Another is the humiliation felt by victims. Yet another is the fear of loss of employment or loss of advancement when the other party is in a senior position - as many in the current round of cases involve. Police can do nothing about any of that. Would a trainee producer at Fox News have got anywhere by going to the police after being molested by Roger Ailes? Of course not! Would that 14-year old molested by Kevin Spacey have achieved anything by going to the police? Other than being told he was a pansy, I am certain he would not!

I, too, have concerns about committees. On the other hand, those who have suffered at the hands of others need a sympathetic ear. It may not be the ideal solution, but it is at least an attempt to douse the fires. As Bob again suggests, the solution depends on a major change of cultural values and that will take a generation or two.

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#8 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Dec 20, 2017 3:43 am

fountainhall wrote:Police, I assume, require evidence.

So do I. Would you really penalize someone without it?

Someone simply accusing someone else of sexual harassment is not good enough for me to assume the allegation is true. I would not want to be the one to penalize or stigmatize someone on the basis of an allegation alone. "Probably did it" doesn't work, at least for me.

If multiple people are alleging someone is a "harasser" and they were victimized, that, to me, is enough evidence to be able to assume it is true.

One person accusing another, and the only evidence is the accusation itself - that is nowhere near enough for me. And that is why I am absolutely opposed to this self-appointed committee, ready to sit in judgment of others and have those judgments acted upon.

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#9 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby Bob » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:35 am

Gaybutton wrote:
fountainhall wrote:Police, I assume, require evidence.
....One person accusing another, and the only evidence is the accusation itself - that is nowhere near enough for me. And that is why I am absolutely opposed to this self-appointed committee, ready to sit in judgment of others and have those judgments acted upon.

Come on, nobody (and nothing in the article you URLed) suggests at all that this committee is going to make any judgments or findings about any individual cases at all. Their obvious goal is to come up with an overall strategy to (as the article says) to deal with " issues ranging from power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, education and training, reporting and enforcement, ongoing research, and data collection." Kinda hard to object to that type of thinking in my book.

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#10 Re: New Harassment Commission Established in California - and Who Chairs?

Postby Gaybutton » Wed Dec 20, 2017 1:41 pm

Bob wrote:Kinda hard to object to that type of thinking in my book.

In my book it's quite easy. I have no objection if that's all they're really going to do, but I believe much of that will turn out to be nothing more than a smokescreen to try to legitimize accusations. I believe that's exactly what they're really all about and will be doing that with no supporting evidence whatsoever.

Of course, I have no evidence to support my opinion either . . .


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