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Hollywood launches sexual harassment commission in wake of Weinstein scandal

Disgreaced Hollywoon moghul Harvey Weinstein
Disgreaced Hollywoon moghul Harvey Weinstein REUTERS/Steve Crisp/File Photo

A special commission has been set up in the United States to combat sexual misconduct in the entertainment business. This comes in the wake of multiple revelations of sex abuse by some of the biggest names in the US film industry, unleashed by allegations of abuse against film moghul Harvey Weinstein.

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The establishment of the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace was announced on Friday, following a meeting convened by Star Wars producer Kathleen Kennedy.

It will reconvene in 2018.

Chief executives of nearly every major Hollywood studio, TV network and record label attended the first meeting and agreed to fund the new body, which will include heads of Disney, Paramount, Universal and CBS.

Many of the major talent agencies and unions that represent entertainers also signed on.

Anita Hill to chair

The group will be chaired by lawyer and academic Anita Hill.

Hill brought sexual harassment to national prominence in the US in 1991 when she testified that Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her when he was her boss at the Department for Education and at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

After her private allegations were leaked to the press, she testified publicly at a televised investigative committee where her allegations came under attack.

Thomas was eventually confirmed in the position, despite her testimony.

Now a professor at Brandeis University in Boston, Hill said it was "time to end the culture of silence".

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