The November 12 event is chaired by Fox news anchor Lauren Sivan; protests against alleged rapist and ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ director Roman Polanski in France
The women of Hollywood have had enough.
The shenanigans of disgraced movie titan Harvey Weinstein have paved the way for sexual harassment and abuse survivors from all walks of life—politics, tech and beyond—to speak out about their mistreatment. But nowhere is that more true than within the Hollywood-Manhattan media complex: just witness how more than 300 women have accused director James Toback of inappropriate behavior, and how the actions of “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey and journalist hotshot Mark Halperin are now under the spotlight.
But the (mostly female) survivors aren’t just speaking out on social media or to newspapers, they’re taking action too. A group of feminist organizations, led by the Feminist Majority Foundation, is planning to hold a protest march in Tinsel Town on November 12. The “Take Back the Workplace” rally will be chaired by Lauren Sivan, a Fox 11 anchor who famously told the Huffington Post that Weinstein ejaculated in front of her into a potted plant at a Manhattan media event.
Two hundred people have said on Facebook that they’ll be attending—and another 600 or so have indicated their interest in the event, an hour-long march that starts at the Hollywood & Highland mall and ends on Hollywood’s iconic Sunset Boulevard. Among those who have pledged support are “Conan” staff writer Laurie Kilmartin and actress and social media personality Alexsandra Wright.
— Tess Rodham Rafferty (@TessRafferty) October 27, 2017
The organizers say they’re marching because abuse in Hollywood is widespread and they are “tired of remaining silent and not being believed, or being intimidated” when they speak out. While the major media conglomerates have been quick to act—albeit often reactively—to harassment charges leveled against their employees, the event’s organizers are demanding a more formal structure. The comedian and writer Tess Rafferty has called for a commission to change culture and for an institutionalized way to report abuse and ensure charges will be investigated without risk of retaliation, per the Hollywood Reporter.
This is a longtime coming. As the New York Times recently reported, allegations of abuse against Weinstein date back to the 1970s. Academy Award-winning “The Pianist” director Roman Polanski also famously fled the United States in the late 1970s after he was charged for drugging and raping a teenager. He found exile in France and has continued making movies.
While Polanski’s alleged crimes have barred him from working in the United States, and even got him briefly arrested in Switzerland as he successfully fought extradition to America, they’ve gained more visibility in recent weeks. Swiss law enforcement authorities confirmed this month that they were looking into allegations he had assaulted a woman in 1972. Dozens of people protested at a Paris retrospective on Monday, where the 84-year-old director was honored for his work. Two topless women—who inked the words “Very Important Pedocriminal” on their bodies—even briefly interrupted the partially state-funded soiree, which over 27,000 people had signed a petition against, the Guardian of London reports.
Polanski himself has been adding fuel to the fire. He reportedly told a French TV channel that the current climate was leading to too many allegations being thrown around.
© 2017 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved