Respected Australian comedian Paul Hogan has expressed his outrage with the modern entertainment industry, which has proven rife with sexual harassment. In light of a recent report released by the Media Arts and Entertainment Alliance, Hogan has voiced fears for his own granddaughters involved in the showbiz sector.
The damming report provides evidence that 40% of entertainers have been subjected to distressing acts, suggesting the issue is much more widespread than originally anticipated.
Hogan has recognized the #MeToo movement as an effective platform for victims to share their stories, which has subsequently provided a greater indication of the extent of the problem.
In addition, the effects of the movement have seeped into the entertainment industry, where big personalities have been exposed and addressed, such as Harvey Weinstein.
One of Hogan’s family members, Mylee, works as a reporter for Channel 7, where she is heavily immersed in the entertainment world. With a protective instinct for his family, the actor has unapologetically stated that he would handle matters personally if anyone was to harass his granddaughters.
MEAA survey findings
With over 1100 people participating in the survey, 40% were found to be victims to sexual harassment, while another 40% were witnesses to disturbing incidents. Majority of the victims also experienced repeated episodes of the offensive behaviour.
Many victims are found to be discouraged from reporting their unacceptable situations, due to fear, embarrassment and lack of trust in support systems. Namely, the professional impacts of reporting such events act as the main deterrent for performers.
An astounding 53% of victims and 60% of witnesses had abstained from coming forward about the events.
Performers are particularly vulnerable to harassment, due to the nature of their work. With many productions requiring romantic elements and sex scenes, there is a need for companies to become more wary of the behaviours of their actors and any emotional repercussions.
These disturbing survey results necessitate a cultural change in the industry, where victims and witnesses feel comfortable and confident in speaking up.
After several high profile actors were exposed for their transgressions, society has placed a greater focus on protecting those in the performing arena. All major state theatre companies are reinforcing this wider objective by establishing formal policies in their jurisdiction, to generate stricter consequences for those found guilty.
In the past, there has been a tendency to keep the issues quiet and deal with events personally, however increased community support sees a renewed collectivity revolutionise the issue. With a convincing 80% of respondents believing empowerment is the solution, industry authorities set out to achieve exactly that.