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By stephen of Kristensen, LLP posted in Assault on Friday, October 30, 2020.
Let’s End Sexual Harassment in Hollywood: How To Protect Your Rights

When we turn on the news or plug into other media outlets, it often feels like the world is getting darker and more depressing all the time. In the wake of the recent coverage on the case against Harvey Weinstein, it’s clearer than ever that sexual harassment is an insidious evil still permeating the Hollywood scene, preying on young and vulnerable talent trying to pursue their passions. However, for all the apparent darkness, there are also silver linings. The most important to remember is that while the news can make harassment of all forms feel stronger than ever, the reality is that harassment thrives out of the spotlight, and these news stories are actually a sign that women are fighting back.


It can be difficult to be constantly exposed to such toxicity and negativity, but it does mean that people are pursuing justice, and that is often followed by increased resources to prevent more tragedy in the future, and help those who need it along the way. Sexual harassment in Hollywood is far from gone, but together, we can work to continue fighting the good fight against predators and criminals.


Sexual harassment is always illegal, always wrong, and always, always worth fighting against. There are no rules on where it can and cannot happen, but there are ways to fight back against someone who has, or has attempted, to violate you in any way. Harassment in Hollywood is, in most ways, no different than harassment anywhere else – it’s never okay, it’s never justified, and it is always worth seeking justice against. However, Hollywood is a unique environment, which can create unique opportunities for predators to prey against the vulnerable as the result of their positions of power. In these situations, there may be unique circumstances preceding or following any harassment.


One common form of harassment in Hollywood is repeated, unwanted sexual advances. This can certainly happen in any environment – from a warehouse to a corporate office. That said in Hollywood, where young and rising talent feel their reputation means everything, and especially when it feels fragile compared to that of their harassors, it can easily feel like there is no place to escape when the advances won’t stop coming.


Another unfortunately common tactic comes in the form of ‘quid pro quo’, or more simply, offering to exchange career advancement or a new opportunity for sexual favors. Sometimes, this can be accompanied with a threat to destroy or remove other opportunities, should the victim not agree to the exchange.


Other one-off events can feel minor, such as unwanted touching or vulgar ‘jokes’ or comments, but that doesn’t make them any less serious. This is often a tactic used by predators to test the water on a potential victim, and learn what they can or cannot get away with.


Finally, harassment can escalate into full-blown sexual assault. Predators may trap their victims, push them onto beds or couches, or force them into private rooms, expose themselves, or attack.


In all of these cases, predators often use their position of influence or power to threaten their victims, and frighten them into submission – it is wrong, and it is disgusting. While this has certainly been a dark side of Hollywood for some time, more and more frequently we are finding the light shined on these criminals to secure justice for those they have hurt and wronged. If you have been a victim of any type of sexual harassment or assault, or know someone who has, we urge you to contact us – no matter who the perpetrator might be. We will talk with you, and develop a plan that you feel comfortable with before proceeding. Justice is here, and we are ready to fight with you to win it for yourselves and others.