The Hollywood Commission, the leading organization working in partnership with 26 of the most influential entertainment industry companies, unions and guilds, academies, and talent agencies to end discrimination, harassment, bullying, and abuse in the entertainment industry, today released the results of its 2022-23 Entertainment Industry Survey. An industry-wide temperature check, assessing what progress has been made and where workers still need support, the survey provides a critical update on the Commission’s first 2019-20 survey.
The new survey, fueled by feedback from over 5,000 anonymous industry workers, found that while change is slow in coming and there is much work to be done, there is reason for optimism.
On the positive side, the survey showed workers responding with sharp upticks in awareness of what constitutes workplace misconduct, how to report it, and how to address or respond to retaliation. As the crucial first step in positively shifting workplace attitudes and behavior – one that leads toward shifting attitudes and values, and finally to transformations in behavior – the Commission is encouraged to see this improvement in worker knowledge and awareness in the survey results.
However, the survey results show little change in other aspects of workers’ experiences. Despite six years of headlines and court cases, most workers still believe that there has been little to no progress in changing the workplace culture of the entertainment industry since the #metoo movement gained visibility. Most troubling is that workers continue to experience high rates of misconduct that they do not report to their companies, guilds, or unions; this is marked by a lack of confidence that powerful harassers will face accountability. The problem is acute across the entire industry – on independent productions, many of which lack the structures and systems of the large studios, and at the large studios themselves, where 71% of workers believe it is unlikely that a powerful person will be held accountable.
Rates of sexually harassing behaviors, bias, discrimination, and bullying remain largely unchanged since the 2019-20 survey. Workers also continue to fear retaliation, such as losing opportunities due to being labeled “difficult to work with” – and this fear leads many to say that the abuse they experience is “not serious enough” to be worth the risks and possible career repercussions of making a report.
In the data analysis, the demographic breakdown revealed that workers’ identities determined their outlook on how much progress has been made. Across every issue, cisgender White men believe that the industry has seen more progress than do women, people of color, and the LGBTQ+ community.
To address the gap in trust, the Commission recommends several areas of action that would strengthen workplace accountability, focus on prevention, and encourage leadership with consistency and integrity. Ranging from improving reporting structures to education and training programs to clear communication of values through pledges and codes of conduct, the full list of recommendations can be found in the Commission’s report at www.hollywoodcommission.org.
“The dramatic upswing in awareness of the types of behavior that do not belong in the workplace is a key step forward,” said Anita Hill, president and chair of the Hollywood Commission. “Shifts in attitudes and values of workers and leadership pave the way for institutional and systemic changes that will ultimately lead to eliminating workplace misconduct.”
“Our focus is to root out the harmful conduct that workers reported in our survey by bridging gaps in existing industry systems that leave industry workplaces vulnerable to abusive and discriminatory behaviors,” Hill continued. “This is why everyone at the Hollywood Commission remains so dedicated to our cause; early this new year, we will launch new programs that we believe will make an impact. We are hitting the ground running and look forward to engaging our partner organizations to support safe and productive workplaces for all industry workers.”
The survey polled 5,259 anonymous workers; from their responses, the Commission conducted an extensive data analysis to find the larger overall trends in the industry. The survey report is not a report card on any individual company or organization, but rather a snapshot of where the industry as a whole is now. The full 2022-23 Entertainment Industry Survey report may be found at www.hollywoodcommission.org.