Hollywood Commission, led by Anita Hill, finds men ‘appear to inhabit a parallel universe’ in perceptions of progress in diversity and inclusion

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Anita Hill [NBC photo]

Not surprisingly, the Hollywood Commission found a gulf between what show business claims it has done to close workplace gaps in diversity and inclusion and what the entertainment industry has actually accomplished in that arena.

Founded by Kathleen Kennedy and Nina Shaw, the Hollywood Commission is chaired by Anita Hill, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Men in Hollywood appear to inhabit a parallel universe when it comes to their overwhelmingly positive perception of progress in welcoming and valuing diverse backgrounds, experiences and perspectives,” the Hollywood Commission said in releasing its second report from an industry survey.

In what will come as a shock to practically no one who is female, the report revealed deep diversions in the perceptions and experiences of bias and inclusion among men, women and other underrepresented groups in Hollywood.

Women surveyed were about twice as likely as their male colleagues to say they had experienced biased or unfair behavior, The Hollywood Reporter said, citing the report.

Women of color reported even higher rates of diversity and inclusion bias.

According to the commission’s report, 75% of men surveyed said progress had been made in ushering people from diverse communities into show biz workplaces.

That compared to 63% of women who responded to the online study.

“White men have the most positive view of progress in diversity (78 percent), followed by Black or African African men (67 percent),” the report found.

When it came to the question of progress of improving diversity in the industry, women had a different opinion: 66% of white women, 50% of biracial women, and 47% of African American women concurred that Hollywood had made progress in welcoming people from underrepresented communities.

The commission’s report concluded that the industry has an “urgent need for organizations to adopt expanded measures to drive diversity and inclusion and to be held accountable to making those measurable changes,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

About 30% of biracial or multiracial women and approximately 22% of African American women told the online survey that they had been denied workplace opportunities granted to others in comparable situations.

Funded by the industry, the commission was founded in 2017 in response to the #MeToo campaign. Its mission is to “lead the entertainment industry to a strong and equitable future by defining and implementing best practices that eliminate sexual harassment and bias for all workers, especially marginalized communities, and actively promote a culture of accountability, respect, and equality.”

The report on workplace bias cautioned that biased behavior was taking its toll on worker productivity and advancement opportunities.

To help Hollywood quicken the closing of the gaps, the commission is creating a pilot program in bystander training with 450 entertainment workers to intercede when harassment and bias occurs in workplaces. One of the goal is to eliminate the silence around these issues.

“The entertainment industry has the unique potential to tell the stories of today’s richly diverse world. But to get there, the barriers to underrepresented people being valued and in ‘the room where it happens’ must be eliminated. And once they do get into ‘the room where it happens,’ they must not be the only one,” Hill said in a statement, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

For more information on the Hollywood Commission, go to www.hollywoodcommission.org.



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