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Six Years After #MeToo, Entertainment Employees Believe Hollywood Culture of Abuse and Misconduct Has Improved, Survey Finds

Six years after the #MeToo hashtag took off with the bombshell exposés against Harvey Weinstein, a new survey has found that a promising number of employees in the entertainment industry feel progress has been made in Hollywood.

WIF, the nonprofit organization formerly known as Women In Film, conducted a survey last month where the majority of respondents said the culture in Hollywood has improved, with experiences of abuse and misconduct being reduced by 33.7% compared to the previous year.

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The survey results, obtained by Variety, show that 59% of respondents believe that the culture around abuse, harassment and misconduct in Hollywood has improved over the last year. 46.2% of respondents say they or someone they know experienced abuse or misconduct in the past year.

“While the numbers have improved, results and anonymous anecdotes show that abuse and misconduct continues to be prevalent in our industry,” according to WIF.

WIF conducted the survey among 266 respondents this past September. Participants in the survey are current or former screen industry employees with 95.4% of respondents identifying as women, 1.9% as men and 2.7% identify as nonbinary or another gender. Participants included people of color, individuals who identify as trans and individuals who are part of the LGBTQ+ community.

“I worked for a company that mainly employed men. My looks, outfits and weight were always a topic of discussion,” one survey participant wrote.

Another respondent wrote, “I have experienced everything from discrimination to harassment in nearly every job I have held in the industry as well as witnessed it happen to multiple female friends of mine.” This anonymous individual said that they were fired from their first industry job after asking why their male counterpart was making more money. This person also wrote that they were “sexually assaulted on the first set I ever worked on, and was sent illicit photos from talent on a show I was working on.”

Other allegations of workplace mistreatment shared in the survey include male executive producers trying to take writing credits from female writers and then firing them for not agreeing to give up a writing credit on an episode that they wrote, and production telling a woman that she was “not allowed” to cry on set even though she was being “harassed by a male set worker.”

For people who identify as former entertainment industry workers, nearly half say the reason they left the industry is because of abuse or misconduct.

“I strongly feel that #MeToo has done nothing except teach men how to hide their behavior better,” one participant individual shared in the WIF survey.

It has been six years since the stories on Weinstein broke in the New York Times and the New Yorker in October 2017, opening the floodgates for allegations against Weinstein and others in power who were accused of sexual harassment and abuse. In 2023, accusations against men in power in the entertainment industry continue to be prevalent: Just this week, actress Julia Ormond filed a lawsuit, first reported by Variety, against Weinstein for sexual battery, also suing CAA and Disney for allegedly enabling Weinstein’s behavior; and TV producer Bryan Fuller was accused of sexual harassment on the set of a docuseries.

Established 50 years ago in 1973, WIF works to dismantle gender bias, discrimination and harassment in the entertainment industry.

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