HomeTagsPosts tagged with "Sexual Harassment"

Sexual Harassment

"Why would a woman want to work for him?"

The legend that is Emma Thompson has written to the producers of her latest film Luck explaining why she refuses to work with John Lasseter, who Skydance Media have hired despite allegations of sexual misconduct.

The letter was shared with the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday, and makes plain Thompson’s extreme discomfort with Lasseter being tied to her new project.

Lasseter left Pixar last year following multiple allegations of inappropriate behaviour and misconduct, and his new employment raises ethical questions.

The veteran actress emphasises that Lasseter’s admitting to “inappropriate hugging” and “other missteps” was insufficient remorse to offer him such a prestigious second chance

According to her, he realised the error of his ways or because it was politic and beneficial for him to do so, not because he has grown as a person.

She asks should women not be the ones to decide whether they want to work with him;

“If a man has been touching women inappropriately for decades, why would a woman want to work for him if the only reason he’s not touching them inappropriately now is that it says in his contract that he must behave ‘professionally’?”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Thompson expresses her sadness that she has to quit the project, as she has huge admiration and respect for the film's director, but needs to stand up for the sake of her daughter's generation.

“I am well aware that centuries of entitlement to women’s bodies whether they like it or not is not going to change overnight. Or in a year,” she writes.

“But I am also aware that if people who have spoken out- like me- do not take this sort of a stand then things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter’s generation.

She continues; “It feels very odd to me that you and your company would consider hiring someone with Mr. Lasseter’s pattern of misconduct given the present climate in which people with the kind of power that you have can reasonably be expected to step up to the plate."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“If a man has made women at his companies feel undervalued and disrespected for decades, why should the women at his new company think that any respect he shows them is anything other than an act that he’s required to perform by his coach, his therapist, and his employment agreement?” the Nanny McPhee actress wrote.

“The message seems to be, ‘I am learning to feel respect for women so please be patient while I work on it. It’s not easy.’” Lasseter has a reputation for turning Pixar into a boys club.

She also pointed out the unfair situation of Skydance Media workers who feel discomfort about working with him.

“How much money are the employees at Skydance being paid to GIVE him that second chance?” Thompson wrote, noting that he presumably profited from his Pixar settlement.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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“If John Lasseter started his own company, then every employee would have been given the opportunity to choose whether or not to give him a second chance. But any Skydance employees who don’t want to give him a second chance have to stay and be uncomfortable or lose their jobs. Shouldn’t it be John Lasseter who has to lose HIS job if the employees don’t want to give him a second chance?”

“Given all the abuse that’s been heaped on women who have come forward to make accusations against powerful men, do we really think that no settlements means that there was no harassment or no hostile work environment?” Thompson wrote.

“Are we supposed to feel comforted that women who feel that their careers were derailed by working for Lasseter DIDN’T receive money?” she said, reminding us that his accusers never received any compensation if the claims were true.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Clearly, Thompson is deeply unhappy about having to quit a perfectly great film over the actions of a production company, a powerful man and his enablers.

However, she writes that she is unable to continue with the company: “I can only do what feels right during these difficult times of transition and collective consciousness raising.”

We always had mad respect for Emma, but now she's a genuine women's rights goddess to us. Slay, queen.

Feature image: Instagram/@glamourmag 

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It was announced yesterday that upskirting will become a criminal offence in England, carrying a two-year prison sentence.

The offence of taking photos under a person's clothing without their permission is currently still legal in Ireland, but is illegal in Scotland. 

Gina Martin has been an ardent campaigner for the criminalisation of upskirting for over two years, and said she was exhausted and happy after it was decided the offence became illegal.

The bill passed its third reading in the House of Lords yesterday, meaning upskirting is to be a criminal offence. 

In June, the Ministry of Justice claimed it would support the ban which formed an aspect of the Voyeurism Offences Bill.

Gina Martin, a freelance writer from London, has headed the campaign since her own experience as a victim of upskirting herself at a music festival in 2017.

"I am over the moon. Upskirting will be illegal. After becoming a victim and recognising a gap in the law, I partnered with Ryan Whelan of Gibson Dunn and began 18 months of exhaustive, emotional and life-changing work."

"Now? We have changed the law! I always thought politics was impenetrable but with the right help and willpower you can do it. We did it. We made upskirting a sexual offence!"

"I am exhausted and so so happy!"

Gina said she spotted one of the men who upskirted her sharing the image on his mobile in front of her. Despite grabbing the phone and showing it to police, four days later the case was closed.

The offence will gain a two-year sentence; victims previously had to try other avenues to get justice, such as outraging public decency.

We think it's high time this became a legal offence in Ireland. Congrats Gina, you're one badass lady.

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Aziz Ansari is bringing his Road to Nowhere tour to Dublin this year, it has been announced.

The Emmy Award winner will perform in Vicar Street on March 31.

The Master of None and Parks & Recreation star is touring for the first time when his career was stalled last January following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Ansari has three stand-up specials on Netflix, and has appeared in films such as I Love You, Man and Get Him To The Greek.

He came under fire after a young woman published her account of spending a night with him on Babe, and it was pretty unpleasant to read.

Ansari responded in a statement last year, saying:

“In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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"We went out to dinner and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.”

Vulture allege that the star’s set focused on relationships jokes but included no reference to the claims of misconduct.

Tickets for the stand-up comedy show are priced at €51 and go on sale on Friday 18 January at 10am on Ticketmaster.

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A 2010 clip of Gordon Ramsay and Sofia Vergara on the Jay Leno show has gone viral this week, purely because of how damn UNCOMFORTABLE it makes everyone feel.

Twitter users were quick to brand the infamous TV chef's behaviour as beyond inappropriate, especially in the #MeToo era where women are taking a stand against treatment such as this.

The interview shows Ramsay, then 52, appearing alongside the Colombian actress in an interview, where he clearly makes her feel incredibly objectified and upset with his sexist remarks and groping.

His comments during the clip aimed at the actress have not been received well, at one stage Vergara is talking to Leno and remarks; “I never scream like that in real life.”

She was presumably referring to the renowned shouts of her Modern Family character, but Ramsay is quick to respond with;“Only in the bedroom.”

Let's remember, this is part of Vergara's JOB. In an employment environment, he repeatedly interrupts her and makes her feel sexualised when she is trying to do her actual job.

He even moves chairs to essentially sit on Vergara without her permission, and he touches her upper thigh and tries to smack her. She tells him; "No, no. No touching!"

She begins speaking in Spanish at the audience, telling them "This man doesn't respect me." Understandably, she is uncomfortable and angry, and Leno did absolutely nothing to intervene.

He asks the actress and model; “Have you had a whole wedge in your mouth at any one time?” She cannot even reply as she is too stunned.

"Sofia Vergara didn’t deserve to be treated like this," one Twitter user wrote, retweeting the footage. "This is very very uncomfortable." Of course, people are MAD as hell, deservedly so.

sofia vergara babes GIF by MACHETE KILLS

Jay Leno is equally chauvinistic, asking her how much WEIGHT she gained while away on a trip, which she refuses to answer.

She is sexualised throughout the entire interview, while at work essentially, and is subjected to sexist and racist harassment.

Gordon Ramsay even tells her to change her son Manolo's name,to which she replies stone-faced "Can I what?"

The whole thing is a damn joke. Gordon, you're cancelled. Jay Leno, you're cancelled. Everyone go and smash the patriarchy and lift up Sofia.

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The co-founder and chief executive of the HQ Trivia app has been found dead in his lower Manhattan apartment yesterday morning, according to police.

Colin Kroll was found facedown on his bed after a woman rang 911 and asked for a police check-up in SoHo. Cocaine and heroin were discovered in his home.

Kroll also co-founded the formerly popular six-second video app Vine, which he sold to Twitter in 2012.

The app then closed down last year, and Kroll went on to work for Twitter before being fired for 'poor management' following allegations of inappropriate workplace behaviour towards women.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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When HQ Trivia debuted in August 2017, the app became a viral sensation after millions of people came together for a livestreaming-interactive game which inspired numerous imitations.

Anyone who participates has the hope of winning money from answering trivia questions on their phones.

Rus Yusupov founded HQ Trivia alongside Colin Kroll, and has yet to respond to his death.

The norm is that comedians host the game show on their phones, and the difficulty of the questions increases by the round.

The company raised $15 million in venture capital funding, but Mr Kroll's workplace history deterred many investors, yet Mr Kroll has always denied that he ever sexually harassed women at work.

In a statement to Axios, he said;

“It was a painful experience, but an eye-opening one that served as a catalyst for professional development and greater awareness in the office.”

He continued;

“I now realise that there are things I said and did that made some feel unappreciated or uncomfortable. I apologise to those people. Today, I’m committed to building HQ Trivia into a culture-defining product and supporting the dedicated team that makes it all possible.”

In an interview with The New York Times last year, the entrepreneur said the company preferred to be based in NYC instead of San Francisco.

The Detroit native said that;

"Our inspiration is more from media and TV than it is from technology.” Livestreaming gaming platforms such as Twitch inspired the creation of HQ Trivia.

Kroll had previously worked as an engineering manager for Yahoo from 2007 to 2009, and then as chief technology officer at Jetsetter from 2009 to 2013, so had a wealth of technological and software engineering knowledge.

The cause of Colin Kroll's death has yet to be revealed.

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I'm sure we all remember the drama-fest that was One Tree Hill; it was your typical American high school teenage TV show which focused on romance, basketball, jocks, cheerleaders and everything in between. 

We were hooked, especially when news broke that Sophia Bush and Chad Michael Murray were engaged, and then subsequently broke up following the much-publicised cheating scandal with Paris Hilton.

In essence, it was discovered fairly quickly that our favourite literate basketball player, Lucas Scott, was trashy IRL.

Sophia Bush, who played Brooke Davis on the show, had an in-depth interview with Dax Shepard on his Armchair Expert podcast and spoke about the controversial break-up.

The 36-year-old actress reflected on her ex-husband and former co-star Chad Michael Murray, and alleges that the One Tree Hill producers exploited their split while the series was still airing on TV.

She commented;

“The reason that I don’t talk about it A) is because everyone’s been 21 and stupid, but if you’re in our job, for some reason, people want to talk to you about like, when you’re fully-fledged adults who’ve done really amazing s— with your lives, they wanna talk to you about the dumb thing you did in college basically."

"Which doesn’t make sense to me, ’cause like, in any other realm, if a CEO is having a meeting, no one’s gonna ask about the time they went to a kegger in college.”

She continued;

“What’s complex about this issue for me is that the person who I was 21 and stupid with is also an actor,” said Bush, who admitted that she was “a really naive kid.”

According to Bush;

“Being a super nerdy kid and suddenly you’re on TV and all this stuff is happening and one of the cool people you work with thinks you’re awesome, there’s really base brain stuff there. I think that for me, it took me a long time to do the kind of inventory you’re talking about in the after effect. And I continued to be in a place of work with my ex.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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On Thursday, Good Morning Britain raised the interesting question about whether Magic Mike is appropriate or not, given the recent global movement regarding sexual harassment and consent.

The #MeToo discussion has seen high-profile celebrities speak out about their experiences with rape and sexual assault within the entertainment industry, and the movement has spread into every conversation in most workplaces.

Seeing as Magic Mike is about male strippers, it's not surprising that the focus was turned towards it, and Channing Tatum was ready to defend his long-term project.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Speaking at the Magic Mike Live press tour, Tatum said; ‘It’s okay to appreciate the image of a man or a woman as long as it’s done with respect and love."

"It’s such an incendiary moment, we could just be like, “ah! let’s not look at each other, let’s not talk to each other.” ‘We should have these conversations and talk about the hard things."

Essentially, Channing is claiming that it's totally okay to appreciate the male or female form once it remains respectful throughout.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Singer Jessie J, the actor's new girlfriend, has been seen enjoying the Magic Mike Live show from a private box in London. She was spotted at London's Hippodrome as she watched her 38-year-old beau perform,

She is clearly supportive of the cast of strip show meets dance extravaganza, and Tatum is equally supportive of Jessie J's talent. He has been seen watching the Price Tag singer perform in London, sitting near her mum at the Royal Albert Hall.

The pair seem loved-up, and from what we can tell, Channing Tatum is a total gentleman. What do you gals think of Magic Mike, is it problematic or just simple fun?

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It’s an incredibly frustrating aspect of reality that women and girls face constant public sexual harassment daily.

In Tuesday’s report written by MPs on the women and qualities committee in Britain, the issue has now been labelled “urgent” following a nine-month enquiry on the matter.

The report is insisting that the UK government take immediate and effective action to attempt to create a safer public environment for women.

From exercising in public parks and frequenting nightclubs or bars to simply utilising our city’s public transport, women can almost almost claim to have felt the burden of danger in communal spaces of our communities.

Experiences have more recently been shared of extensive experiences of sexual assault and harassment, and there are more accounts than ever of crimes being committed against women in public.

France has recently introduced a law against street harassment which results in on-the-spot fines for predatory comments and harassment such as sexualised remarks and wolf-whistling, after a woman was viciously attacked by a man for confronting him about his offensive behaviour towards her.

The committee has “heard evidence of widespread problems” of both men and boys “sexually harassing women and even girls on buses and trains, in bars and clubs, in online spaces and at university, in parks and on the street.”

The subject of school uniforms was also mentioned in the report, written by cross-party MPs, testifying that girls in their school attires are pressurised to avoid risky situations which "keeps women and girls unequal".

Street harassment has been described in the document as “relentless and becomes ‘normalised’ as girls grow up, contributing to a wider negative cultural effect on society.”

The committee also sets out seven steps which they aim to take in the report, among them is the proposal to force train and bus operators and publican landlords to take tougher measures towards fighting sexual harassment on their premises.

It also requests a public information campaign which is specifically designed to change attitudes, akin to road safety campaigns and first aid programmes.

The British Home Office also states that they view the epidemic problem as a “key priority,” and are devising an updated “Violence against Women and Girls” strategy and scheme.

Writing on public pavements in chalk has become a new pacifistic method for women to fight back, to feel safe in their own cities.

Regardless of government promises to eliminate such prevalent behaviour entirely by 2030, the Women and Equalities Committee concludes negatively that there is currently "no evidence of any programme to achieve this".

Twitter users especially are expressing anger at how ‘obvious’ the headline is, and that there is not a single mention of men in the article, who are by-in-large the major perpetrators of sexual harassment. 

It remains to be seen whether improvements will take place which will finally allow women and girls to feel safe, but the reaction online to the BBC’s headline has been scathing.

Let's hope governments worldwide bring in sharp ways to tackle this highly concerning problem which is so engrained in our culture that many of us have become completely desensitised to it. Safety is a right, not a privilege.

Have a look at BBC’s 100 Women I know video on Street Harassment here:

The Bristol Zero Tolerance group has also written an informative guide on how to respond to street harassment, which you can read here.

Stay safe, gals.

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Late last year, following a string of high profile sexual abuse allegations, a movement was created encouraging people to open the conversation and provide support for victims who has suffered in silence for too long. 

Since then, countless people have shared their own personal experiences through #MeToo, marking a shift in how we tolerate the issue. 

With that, many parents have chosen to break down barriers and open the discussion with their own children, in the hope that they will gain a greater awareness, and the ability to identify inappropriate behaviours. 

In an effort to inspire more of these types of conversations, YouTube channel Cut shared a poignant video of parent having a frank and honest conversation with their kids about sexual abuse. 

In the video, titled 'Parents Explain #MeToo', three mothers talk about what the movement represents and why it's so important. 

The emotional clip shows mother Nicole, explain what sexual abuse is to her son Nolan, before revealing that she had been assaulted as a child. 

“Sexual assault is where people do inappropriate things to other people including things with the private parts we just talked about. So a lot of people are scared to talk about when those bad things happen to them, okay?” she says.

“It happens to a lot of men and women, boys and girls. It happened to me when I was younger, I didn’t even tell Daddy until two years ago.”

“I think it’s important for you to know because these things can happen to kids, too.”

In similar discussions, two teen girls discuss the issue with their own mothers, with one even opening up about an inappropriate incident that happened to her at school. 

“I’m very proud of you. It’s okay to talk about these things,” her mother says.. 

“And that is the right thing to do, is to tell somebody right away. And you have to learn how to always speak up and don’t let anybody ever take advantage of you. This is never okay and it’s never your fault."

While the video may feature just three conversations, it highlights the need for children to be aware of the issues that happen around them and brings to light the importance of having an open line of communication between parent and child 

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Two Irish actors have come forward to reveal how they were sexually harassed by powerful industry executives when they were just starting out in the acting business.

Derry Girls actress Nicola Coughlan, 31, and Ballykissangel star Victoria Smurfit, 43, have both shared stories of how they were put in uncomfortable situations in order to win the respect of those in charge.

Taking to Twitter, Nicola, who plays 16-year-old Clare Devlin on the hit Channel 4 show, recalled a situation where she had been asked to "perform naked" by a "respected director" while taking part in an acting competition she was just a teenager.

Using the hashtag #GreyAreasNoMore, the Galway native admitted that the account was "barely the tip of the iceberg", adding that she has been put in much worse situations over the years.

"I had a chat with him before about what the competition would entail and he told me that if I really wanted to impress him, I should perform naked," she wrote.

"I was a kid, but no woman of any age should be spoken to by a man in a position of power, ever. Trust me, I have a lot worse stories than that."

Meanwhile, speaking to The Sunday Independent, Victoria Smurfit revealed how she had been ordered to accompany a producer to his hotel room following a successful Hollywood audition.

After a “fantastic” second audition, the star recalls how she was invited out for dinner with the production team.

Aware she needed to be on her “game”, Victoria discretely poured her alcoholic drinks into a potted plants as she laughed and joke with industry execs.

Later in the evening, the producer told the actress, who was in her 20s at the time, “you are coming with me to my hotel room.”

Clearly distressed my the situation, the actress “just played innocent”, admitting "he was very straight and very strong about it, so I legged it back to my hotel".

Upon returning for her third audition, she was told she did not get the role.

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Wonder Woman 2 is set to become the first film production to adopt new anti-sexual harassment guidelines set out by the Producer's Guild of America.

In light of recent allegations made against some of Hollywood's most powerful producers and actors, the PGA has introduced a number of new policies in an effort to combat inappropriate behaviour both on and off set.

The guidelines include recommendations on how producers should act towards other people involved in the production, as well as a required anti-sexual harassment training course to be completed by all members of cast and crew.

The recommendations also note that reports of sexual harassment are to be listened to with attention and empathy, “while bearing in mind that the report itself does not predetermine guilt.”

A statement from the PGA reads: “For the past three months, the PGA's Anti-Sexual Harassment Task Force has been working diligently on a set of concrete and pragmatic recommendations for producers and team members to recognise and combat sexual harassment both on and off the set.”

“We're proud to announce that the Task Force has finished the first stage of its work, resulting in the PGA Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines.”

However, the Anti-Sexual Harassment Guidelines are sanctioned as “best practices” and it is ultimately the producer's responsibility to “provide key leadership in creating and sustaining work environments that are built on mutual respect.”

Wonder Woman 2, directed by Patty Jenkins, is set to be released in late 2019, with Gal Gadot reprising her leading role.

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Just days before facing allegations of sexual harassment, Al Porter spoke to Hot Press about his thoughts on the sexual assault accusations pouring out of Hollywood at an alarming rate. 

The comedian is facing claims of sexual harassment, groping and misconduct from four fellow comedians.

Speaking exclusively to Hot Press, Porter described the Weinstein scandal as being a 'watershed moment culturally where what is seen as decent and acceptable behaviour is going to change.'

 

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The comedian condemned the actions of abusers, and said that from this point onwards, many people would be drastically changing their behaviour. 

'I don’t care how provocatively a woman dresses, or how late at night she arranged to have a business meeting with you,' he said when asked about consent. 

'Or whether it was in your hotel room or not. If you’re grabbing her and she doesn’t want it, you’re in the wrong,' he told the music mag

Porter, who has been accused of groping a number of men, went on to say:

'I would hate to tar a comedian with that brush, but it is my experience that if you are in a gay bar, if I had a euro for every time I was grabbed or pulled or somebody laid a kiss on me and I wasn’t expecting it at all.'

'That kinda thing happens for right or wrong,' he told Hot Press.

Porter has apologised for his behaviour, and has resigned from his radio show on Today FM.

'While my conduct, which had been in keeping with my flamboyant and outrageous public persona may be regarded as offensive and unacceptable by many people, I at no time intended to upset anyone.'

'I sincerely apologise to anyone I may have genuinely offended.'

Porter has since been dropped from this year's pantomime, Polly and The Beanstalk. 

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