Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Carolyn Giardina on October 18, 2017.
The accounts of Harvey Weinstein’s predatory moves on A-list actresses have generated headlines. But for the growing number of women who work on film and TV shows in a so-called “below-the-line” capacity — on camera and sound crews, in editorial and music departments — such harassment is all too familiar and widespread. And little is being done to stop it.
At a time when women finally are making strides in crafts areas that traditionally have been dominated by men, there is fear that to report an incident is to risk not only losing a job, but also to be branded a troublemaker and lose a foothold in the close-knit industry. “We don’t have the power that Rose McGowan or Angelina Jolie has,” says one female below-the-liner, and others agree that it is a lot easier for a production to replace a woman on the crew than it is to lose a bankable actor or director. Says filmmaker Rosa Costanza, “Successful women are taking the same jobs as men, and the idea we are competing for [what were traditionally] men’s jobs is very real still. Some guys want to knock us off of our game.”
Of the more than two dozen crafts women surveyed by THR, virtually all reported verbal and/or sexual harassment in the workplace. More than half said they have been harassed by a director. Nearly half said they were harassed by an actor. And most also described widespread harassment by department heads and/or fellow crewmembers. But almost all of them declined to be named, since, several said, the system doesn’t support that. …