Standing up to power is only way sexual harassment ends

A few weeks ago, the entertainment industry formed a special panel, the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. If you have to ask why, you have not been paying attention during the past six months or so.

Chaired by law professor Anita Hill, the organization’s goal is to stamp out sexual harassment and assault in the movie, music and television industries.

“It’s time to end the culture of silence,” Hill said of the commission’s agenda.

Perhaps the panel can come up with some concrete ideas to prevent harassment and assault in the industry. If so, we wish it much success. But the problem is not complicated.

Movie producer Harvey Weinstein could serve as poster predator for the commission. For years, he got away with pressuring women for sexual favors and, on occasion, using force to get what he wanted.

How did he get away with it? He was extremely powerful in the entertainment industry. No one wanted to cross him.

The same can be said for sexual misbehavior elsewhere — yes, we’re looking at you, Congress. Until and unless standing up for what is right is more important than toadying to the powerful, outrageous misbehavior will continue.