I know I can’t be the only one who’s thought about Anita Hill in the past few months.
After all, she is the woman who bought our definition of sexual assault and harassment to the forefront of the nation’s conscious back in 1991 when she testified that the then Supreme Court Justice nominee Clarence Thomas had a history of making lewd comments and propositions to her. There were other former coworkers who were set to testify against Thomas but they never took the stand. But that never panned out. Clarence Thomas was confirmed and he’s been screwing Black folk over ever since.
Anyway, Hill’s name is back in the news because, according to NBC News, she has been tapped to head a new commission that will address the issue of sexual misconduct in Hollywood.
Hill, who is an attorney and professor at Brandeis University, was chosen Friday as the chair of the Hollywood Commission for Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. The commission was created and funded by several executives, including Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, co-chair of the Nike foundation Maria Eitel, entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw and venture capitalist Freada Kapor Klein.
Other industry heavyweights like Ari Emanuel, the co-chair of the William Morris Endeavor, Bob Ingar, the CEO of Disney, and Dawn Hudson, the CEO of the Academy of Arts and Sciences who hosts the Oscars.
In a statement, Kennedy said, “The Commission will not seek just one solution, but a comprehensive strategy to address the complex and inter-related causes of the problems of parity and power.”
Hill, now 61, said the commission will focus on “power disparity, equity and fairness, safety, sexual harassment guidelines, and reporting and enforcement.”
In a statement, she said, “I’m proud to be leading this newly-formed Commission on a long overdue journey to adopt best practices and to create institutional change that fosters a culture of respect and human dignity throughout the industry.”
She continued, “It is time to end the culture of silence,” she added. “I’ve been at this work for 26 years. This moment presents us with an unprecedented opportunity to make real change.”