Many people in Hollywood have come forward with their own experiences dealing with harassment in the industry in the wake of Harvey Weinstein’s actions becoming public knowledge. But Kathleen Kennedy is among the few with the power to enact real change from the highest level.
"A demand is growing for action to prevent further civil and human rights abuses in the future," said Kennedy. While addressing the controversy head on, she added “increased awareness of the belittlement, objectification and predation long endured by women who work in film will certainly be one result of the exposure of what Harvey Weinstein did.”
Kennedy said “predators must come to feel they can't count on power or wealth or fame to shield them,” and praised the women who have come clean in recent weeks.
She then called for "zero-tolerance policies for abusive behavior and a secure, reliable, unimpeachable system in which victims of abuse can report what’s happened to them with a confident expectation that action will be taken, without placing their employment, reputation and career at risk.”
Kennedy suggested in order for the culture to change, serious repercussions must be in place.
“For the past few days, I’ve been in discussions with friends and colleagues, and I want to use my few moments of speaking tonight to offer a proposal,” Kennedy said. “The organizations that constitute the American film industry — the studios, the unions, the guilds and the talent agencies — should immediately convene a commission charged with the task of developing new, industry-wide protections against sexual harassment and abuse.”
The proposed commission saw support from actors like Jennifer Lawrence. With support, Kennedy’s goal could become a reality.
"The commission should be fully funded by our industry in order to address the task at hand in a thorough-going, comprehensive fashion,” Kennedy said. “The goal of this commission would be to transform our industry in regard to sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace.”
With Kennedy and other powerful figures in Hollywood supporting the commission, it could definitely be a possibility in the film industry’s future.