(CelebrityAccess) – On Friday the formation of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace was announced. The Commission, to be chaired by Anita Hill, is a creation of a group of entertainment industry executives in response to an ever-growing range of accusations of sexual harassment, abuse and rape by power players in the industry. This news comes as the NYPD starts an investigation into accusations against Russell Simmons, a sexual battery lawsuit is filed against Gene Simmons and Chelsea Wolf cancels an Australian tour after sexual misconduct accusations are directed at the promoter.
In the announcement of the Commission's formation on Friday, as shared by The Hollywood Reporter, famed attorney and law professor Anita Hill states:
“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…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.”
Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy, who proposed the Commission, stated:
"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…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."
Music industry participants include UMG CEO Lucian Grainge, Sony CEO Tony Vinciquerra, Atlantic Records COO Julie Greenwald and Neil Portnow, president of the Recording Academy.
"Rape and Abuse: the music industry’s dark side – BBC News"
The depth of the problems facing the Commission are revealed not only by the headlines but the stories of a wide range of women now coming forward including those who spoke to the BBC for the Victoria Derbyshire show. The above video shares many of those disturbing accounts of abuse and rape.
As reported by CNN on Friday, the NYPD is now investigating Russell Simmons regarding the growing number of abuse and rape complaints revealed by reporters for the NY Times and the LA Times. This investigation draws on the department's ability to investigate without a direct complaint filed with the NYPD.
As Billboard reported on Saturday, a lawsuit was filed on Friday against Gene Simmons for sexual battery, gender violence, battery and assault.
And Chelsea Wolf cancelled her 2018 Australia tour due to accusations of sexual misconduct by the tour promoter as reported by Music Feeds.
In addition, as reported by Variety on Friday, Warner Music Group is taking action against multiple employees including Warner Bros. Records executive VP A&R Jeff Fenster for issues of sexual misconduct.