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According to a new survey from USA Today, a staggering 94 percent of women working in Hollywood say they have experienced some type of harassment or abuse by an older, more powerful person in the industry.
For months we’ve been reading accounts of sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry from high-profile figures like Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, but little has been reported about the less-public tiers of the industry. How are things for set designers or makeup artists? Lighting specialists? Editors?
USA Today surveyed 843 women in partnership with the National Sexual Violence Resource Center by sending emails out to members of the Creative Coalition and Women in Film and Television. Recipients were able to self-select whether they wanted to participate in the survey or not, so the data has a considerable margin of error, but the results represent the experiences of workers from a wider breadth of jobs in the industry than we’re used to seeing, and the results are disheartening, to say the least.
Eighty-seven percent of those who took the survey said they’d experienced “unwelcome sexual comments, jokes, or gestures to or about you” while at work; 75 percent said they’d witnessed “others experiencing unwanted forms of sexual comments.” An unreal 69 percent reported having been “touched in a sexual way” while on the job:
While this isn’t a certified scientific study, it’s disconcerting anecdotal reporting. And as Time’s Up is also attempting to do, it’s shining a much-needed light on the safety of the industry’s off-camera workers.
Christine Friar is a writer and editor in New York who focuses on streaming entertainment and internet culture. Her work has appeared in the Awl, the Fader, New York Magazine, Paper Magazine, Vogue, Elle, and more.