‘Star Wars’ Producer Proposes Hollywood Commission, ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Harassment

“I reject the idea that misogyny is the true heart of this industry,” Kathleen Kennedy says at Elle event

Kathleen Kennedy Delivers Emotional Speech During "Force Awakens" Premiere
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In the wake of mounting accusations against disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, “Star Wars” producer Kathleen Kennedy has called for the creation of a movie-industry commission to create “protections against sexual harassment and abuse.”

The Lucasfilm president shared her idea Monday night during Elle’s Women in Hollywood event.

Kennedy, a member of the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said she had asked the Oscar-giving organization “to take the first steps toward creating” an industry-wide commission to establish and enforce new rules of behavior.

“I reject the idea that misogyny is the true heart of this industry,” she said.

Kennedy, whose producing credits include “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Jurassic Park,” called for a “decisive, industry-wide institutional response that legislates change rather than hopes for it to happen.”

She called for studios, unions, guilds, and talent agencies to “immediately convene a commission charged with the task of developing new, industry-wide protections against sexual harassment and abuse.”

“This commission should be composed of specialists in labor and management practices, lawyers and legal scholars, sociologists, psychologists, feminists, activists, and theorists, as well as people who work in film and television,” she said, adding that it should be fully funded by the industry.

Kennedy further proposed industry-wide “zero-tolerance policies for abusive behavior and a secure, reliable, unimpeachable system in which victims of abuse can report what’s happened to them with a confident expectation that action will be taken without placing their employment, reputations, and careers at risk.”

“The next goal would be to find a path toward universal compliance with these new standards and practices,” she continued, while noting that “a new system can be 80 percent right and can change the world for the better.”

She acknowledged that Weinstein’s downfall prompted her decision to address the issue. “Along with the terrible and terrifying stories about sexual harassment and assault in the film industry that have dominated the news this past week, a demand is growing for action to prevent further civil and human rights abuses in the future,” she said.

Kennedy concluded with a call to action.

“People in our industry know that we have our own complicity, hypocrisy, and avoidance of this issue to examine and to answer for, but we cannot let that necessary work prevent us from immediately doing what needs to be done to build a better and safer industry,” she said. “The time to begin that work is now.”