USA Today has surveyed 843 women working in the US entertainment industry to ask if they have experienced sexual harassment or assault during their careers. 94% said they have.
The survey focused on the film and television industries: women who work as producers, actors, writers, directors, editors and in other roles.
“Unwanted sexual comments and groping. Propositioning women. Exposing themselves. Coercing women into having sex or doing something sexual. And, especially pertinent to showbiz, forcing women to disrobe and appear naked at an audition without prior warning,” is how USA Today outlined the experiences shared by its respondents.
“More than one-fifth of respondents (21%) say they have been forced to do something sexual at least once,” it explained. The most common form of harassment experienced was unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures to or about them – 87%.
Overall, only one in four women reported their experiences to anyone, due to concerns about personal or professional backlash or retaliation. This wasn’t a survey of women working in the music business, but much of what’s described in USA Today’s writeup will ring familiar bells in our industry.