Global non-profit professional organization calls for commission, specific legislation to take action against sexual harassment.
Global non-profit professional organization Women in Animation took to the streets in Hollywood on Sunday as part of the Take Back the Workplace demonstration, marching in order to “demand a commission to take action against sexual harassment and asking for specific legislation so that every person, no matter the industry, has the resources and the support to end sexual harassment in the workplace,” according to an email from WIA president Marge Dean sent to members on Saturday urging them to join the event.
Aimed at bringing attention to workplace harassment in the entertainment industry, Take Back the Workplace was organized by comedian Tess Rafferty, with the help of the Feminist Majority Foundation, Civican and We for She.
The demonstration, which started at the Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center and culminated in a press conference held in front of the CNN building on Sunset, was followed by the #MeToo Survivors March. Held to honor survivors of sexual abuse, the #MeToo Survivors March was organized by Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo movement that arose in the wake of accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein and other industry figures including Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, James Toback and former Nickelodeon showrunner Chris Savino.
During the demonstrations, hundreds of marchers chanted slogans in unison, including, “Two, four, six, eight, we don't want to see you masturbate,” and “Your junk is not my job.”
In response to these multiple allegations of sexual misconduct in the workplace, and a recent open letter penned by more than 200 women working within the industry, Women in Animation has also launched Roar Art Project, an open call to everyone to create and share a work of art that expresses their personal experience and reaction to the gender issues they face. The art, which can be visual, verbal, animated, or any other form, will be shared in an online gallery as well as across WIA’s social channels and at Women in Animation events.
WIA has created a resource page -- womeninanimation.org/sexualharassment -- which contains information on how to report sexual harassment. The org is also in the process of forming a panel of experts to address these issues by the end of the year, and is working closely with The Animation Guild to develop a survey to get a more accurate picture of how big of a problem harassment is in within the animation industry. Once completed, the results of that survey will be shared with heads of studios, reminding them of their responsibilities to protect all of their employees and to ensure the workplace is safe and free from harassment and discrimination.