NPR News Interviews Professor Anita Hill
Considered from NPR News. I'm Ari Shapiro and Mary Louise Kelly has enough changed in the three years since the Harvey Weinstein story broke and the me to movement took off. A new report finds that for Hollywood and the entertainment business, the answer is no. The Hollywood Commission, a nonprofit that works to eradicate harassment and discrimination in the industry. Surveyed entertainment workers nationwide and found many are staying silent because they fear retaliation. Or they don't believe people in positions of power will be held to account. The chair of the commission is Anita Hill, who, of course, has fought her own battles over getting allegations of sexual harassment taken seriously. She accused now Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of harassment and testified. Under oath back in 1991. Professor Hill joins us now welcome back to all things considered. I'm glad to speak with you again. I'm happy to be here. Tell me what surprised you in the survey results Well, the standout data was the data on accountability. We ask people Do you think that a person of higher rank Who was found to have our asked a person of lower rank would be held accountable and what we found is that 64% of the people we surveyed said that in fact, that person would not be held accountable. I suppose that's the thing that surprised me. I mean, on the one hand, it's not surprising that we're dealing with such deeply entrenched culture and history here. On the other hand, it's been three years of me, too, in the spotlight, and many powerful men have been held to account. You're you're absolutely right. We've seen some very high profile cases. And what we want to make sure is that it doesn't stop with just a few high profile cases. We know that they are problems throughout. Workplaces, and we want to make sure that everybody, whatever their position is Can count on being heard. So that's one piece of this. The other is persuading people who believe they're being harassed, have been harassed that they have a safe path to come forward and report it. I remember interviewing you, Professor Hill. Always. Almost exactly. Two years ago, September 2018 on we were talking because it was in the middle of the confirmation battle over Brett Kavanaugh. And we talked about the the personal cost of choosing to come forward. What do you say to someone who's weighing whether to do so or not? Well, you're absolutely right. There are personal cost. But even when people are willing to take the risk, there are other things that they're considering. People don't come forward because they think they won't be taken seriously. Unfortunately, the Cavanagh hearing really gave the impression that the Senate Judiciary Committee Did not take Christine Bozzi. Ford's claim seriously, and people see that example and becomes, you know what they think will happen to them.