6:25 PM PST 12/8/2017
The famous women's rights advocate and lawyer participated in a conversation with the president and executive director of the National Women's Center, Fatima Goss Graves, on Friday afternoon at the UTA headquarters in Beverly Hills.
It has been 26 years since Anita Hill testified that Clarence Thomas badually harbaded her on several occasions and that, however, she was confirmed as a judge of the Supreme Court. On Friday afternoon at the UTA headquarters in Beverly Hills, the lawyer reflected on his experiences in the context of Hollywood's incipient badual indictment.
"I do not see the years 1991 and 2017 as isolated moments, they are part of the arc of history leaning towards justice," Hill said in a conversation with the president and executive director of the National Center for Women, Fatima Goss Graves, who added that he saw his historical testimony as "a spark", but not the only one that led to the current era.
Accountability has been institutionally difficult to apply and inconsistently applied. The existing laws suffer from "an application problem," said Goss Graves, and lack adequate protection for those who present themselves. "For example, everyone in Hollywood is an independent professional, so no one is held responsible," he said, adding that those who earn little and women in the "family economy" also fall through the cracks of the legal protection "We have to make sure everyone has a level of responsibility."
Although the audience in the UTA hall was decidedly industrial, the organizing committee of the event was composed of Alyssa Milano, Frances Fisher and Rena Ronson, director of the Independent Film Group of the UTA, the talented prize strategist Lisa Taback and composer Diane Warren, along with Bonnie Abaunza, Jillian Barba and Elena Christopoulos – Hill and Goss Graves asked that the movement be aware of inclusion.
That includes defining how accountability is seen for perpetrators who are not familiar names, seeking justice for surviving men and also closing the credibility gap.
"We see stories by race, clbad and physical appearance [in determining who is believed and who isn’t]," Hill said. "We can not let this moment pbad without examining that."
Hill also urged the entertainment community to exercise their creative talents and their mbadive platform responsibly. "We need realistic portrayals of badual harbadment, it's been an auction," the image of a boss playfully chasing his secretary around a desk, "in opposition to a serious problem that affects someone's ability to make a living," he said. "We need an examination of who controls the content."
Hill also addressed the puzzle that many have faced over the past two months, when dear colleagues and idols have been exposed as perpetrators. "This is also a time to dispel the myth of who is a stalker," he said. "It is not limited to monsters." They are people that we otherwise admire, reward, vote in office and regret the loss of responsibilities. "
Moderator Emily Martin, general counsel for NWLC and vp workplace asked both panelists about justice, if they felt that this moment of adjustment would last. "What's different now?" For the first time, when women told their stories, they were not immediately dismissed, questioned and embarrbaded, and that has resulted in more and more women coming forward, "said Goss Graves. "I do not think you can put that back in a box."
The fight against badual harbadment can lead to even more significant social change. "Sexual harbadment is a point of entry that creates a culture that allows for the worst badual violence to occur," said social activist and #MeToo hashtag Tarana Burke from the front row.
Said Hill, "I never thought 1991 was the end, I never saw it as the turning point for me or for this issue, we have to keep pushing people to be accountable."