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Sexual harassment in the workplace cartoons

opinion

Over women and gender-nonconforming people in the American animation industry, most of them artists based in Los Angeles, published an open letter this afternoon with a clear and simple mission statement: Inspired by the recent downfalls of Harvey Weinstein and Roy Price who used their position as Hollywood executives to abuse women, animation artists are making specific demands of animation studios as well as male artists working in the business and the union that represents Los Angeles animation artists, The Animation Guild Local IATSE.

We, the women and gender non-conforming people of the animation community, Sexual harassment in the workplace cartoons like to address and highlight the pervasive problem of sexism and sexual harassment in our business. We write this letter with the hope that change is possible, and ask that you listen to our stories and then make every effort to bring a real and lasting change to the culture of animation studios.

In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, many of the women who work in animation have begun discussing more openly issues that we have dealt with quietly throughout our careers.

As we came together to share our stories of sexism, sexual harassment and, in some cases, sexual assault, we were struck by the pervasiveness of the problem.

Our business has always been male-dominated.

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As more women have entered the animation workforce, it seems that some men have not embraced this change. They still frequently make crass sexual remarks that make it clear women are not welcome on their crews.

Some have pressed colleagues for romantic or sexual relationships, despite our clear disinterest. And some have seen the entrance of more women into the industry as an opportunity to exploit and victimize younger workers on their crews who are looking for mentorship.

In addition, when sexual predators are caught at one workplace, they seem to easily find a job at another studio, sometimes even following their victims from job to job. We want our supervisors to protect us from harassment and assault. Every studio puts in place clear and enforceable sexual harassment policies and takes every report seriously. It must be clear to studio leadership, including producers, that, no matter who the abuser is, they must investigate every Sexual harassment in the workplace cartoons or face consequences themselves.

Our male colleagues start speaking up and standing up for us.

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When their co-workers make sexist remarks, or when they see sexual harassment happening, we expect them to say something. Stop making excuses for bad behavior in your friends and co-workers, and tell them what they are doing is wrong. It has not been easy for us to share our stories with each other. Many of us were afraid because our victimizers are powerful or well-liked. Others were worried that if they came forward it would affect their careers.

It is with this in mind that we resolve to do everything we can to prevent anyone else from being victimized. We are united in our mission to wipe out sexual harassment in the animation industry, and we will no longer be silent.

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