Showbiz writers experience sexual harassment on the job

Women throughout Tennessee and across the country have spoken out about sexual harassment on the job. Workplace harassment can happen in all kinds of job settings, from warehouses to factories to corporate plazas. In one such example, a survey of 2,000 members of the Writers Guild of America West found that 64 percent of female writers reported experiencing harassment in the workplace at some point during their careers. In addition, they noted that a large portion of these experiences took place inside the writers' room.

The problem was not confined to female entertainment writers as 11 percent of men also said that they had been victims of sexual harassment. Many more men reported witnessing the harassment of women in the workplace. Around 20 percent of the guild's active membership participated in the survey, which was sent to its members in February 2018. The survey followed up on widespread reports of sexual harassment in response to the #MeToo movement and accompanied the issuance of a Statement of Principles on the issue.

Women writing in television have reported sexual harassment in the writers' room over the years. As the discussion has come to the forefront once again following the national conversation about sexual harassment, the guild is working to develop workplaces that reject this type of behavior. The survey results reflect a number of different experiences of members, and the guild emphasized that hostile jokes and comments that target specific people are a form of bullying and harassment.

When women confront sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination on the job, they may be afraid of retaliation and even losing their jobs. An employment lawyer can work with sexual harassment victims to seek justice, accountability and compensation for damages caused.

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