Attorney and Brandeis University professor Anita Hill has been picked to lead a new commission tasked with addressing rampant sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry, trade publications reported Friday.
Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and other top film executives elected Hill to guide the newly established Hollywood Commission for Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace.
The announcement comes 11 weeks after The New York Times published its bombshell report on former star producer Harvey Weinstein’s decades of abuse, the first of many such reports.
Hill stepped into the national spotlight back in 1991, when she accused then–Supreme Court nominee ― and current Supreme Court justice ― Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. In televised testimony during the Senate’s confirmation hearing led by then–Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.), Hill described sexually explicit comments made by Thomas during the time she worked with him.
In a statement provided to Variety, Kennedy said the commission will come up with “a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power” after dozens of women subsequently brought to light a pattern of sexual misconduct by powerful figures across the industry, including Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, Louis C.K., Matt Lauer and others.
Hill said in a statement that she planned to focus the group’s efforts 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,” she added. “I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.”
Around two dozen executives including Disney CEO Bob Iger, William Morris Endeavor (WME) co-chair Ari Emanuel and Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos met to establish the Hollywood Commission, Variety reported. It will convene after the holiday season.