It is quite fitting that Anita Hill, lawyer, Brandeis University professor and pioneer of going public with her experiences of suffering sexual harassment in the workplace, should be asked to chair Hollywood’s Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. In fact, Hill is the most obvious choice for the position, argues Cara Buckley in the New York Times, given that she’s been leading the fight against sexual harassment since 1991, when she appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee during Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas’s confirmation process. The memory of Hill getting grilled by a panel of white men has become a symbol of what women are up against and the importance in speaking out against injustices. Hill stands for the imbalance and misuse of power in Washington and Hollywood - and the fight against it.
It is disheartening that Anita Hill has been tapped to head Hollywood commission to examine sexual misconduct and inequality prevalent in today’s entertainment industry. Aside Hollywood’s misstep in politicizing this issue by choosing Hill, its larger problem is that she represents hypocrisy, not justice, asserts Penny Nance in USA Today. While she was heroic and earned widespread respect for standing up to the Senate Judiciary Committee’s questioning of Clarence Thomas during his Supreme Court confirmation process, she subsequently let down women everywhere by not standing up for some of the women who made allegations of sexual misconduct by Bill Clinton. In transcripts from a news interview, Hill defended Clinton instead of his accusers, citing the “they all do it,” argument. Such dismissiveness will not lead to results.