Just over a year ago, news of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s serial harassment and sexual assault of women broke in the New Yorker and the New York Times, and took over our social media feeds. All at once, what had been an open secret became widely public, exposing a work culture in the film world of sexism, predation, and exploitation. The last thirteen months have seen a steady stream of names added to an already long list, and of course, the spread of this movement across professional sectors and around the world. But beyond the naming of names, what have been the material consequences for the accused (and the accusers)? And what is happening in Hollywood and beyond to continue the urgent, ongoing, and substantive transformation of the toxic culture of the entertainment industry?
The Seattle University Film Studies and University Core Programs, with the support of the College of Arts and Sciences, and in collaboration with the University of Washington Cinema and Media Studies Department, have assembled a panel of women with extensive experience in film and television to respond to this question by taking stock of the last year’s events, discussing the changes they see happening, and looking forward to the long road ahead.
Produced in collaboration with the Seattle Film Summit.
Kirsten Schaffer is the Executive Director of Women In Film, Los Angeles and a leader in launching the gender parity program ReFrame, the WIF Sexual Harassment Help-Line, and a variety of talent pipeline programs. Previously, she was the ED Outfest, the preeminent LGBTQ media arts organization. She is a recipient of Power Up’s “Top 10 Women in Show Business,” the “Women in Business” Award from Senator Liu and she is also a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Ellen Huang is Senior Director of EEO & Diversity for SAG-AFTRA. She is responsible for supporting the union’s diversity committees--Asian Pacific American Media, Ethnic Employment Opportunities, LGBT, Native Americans, Performers With Disabilities, Seniors, and Women's Committees, and implementing the department’s national action plans to achieve accurate representation of those groups historically excluded from the entertainment and news media.
Tania Kupczak is a production designer and set decorator for motion pictures, designs sets and props for live performance, and is a visual artist who works with neon. Her credits include Outside In, Captain Fantastic, Laggies, Lucky Them, Brand Upon the Brain!, and a forthcoming VR film about Mildred Bailey.
Sirin Aysan is a Turkish-American journalist, director, and producer. She has created and directed programming for a wide range of major networks including CNN, MTV, and VICE. She has also received the prestigious Edward R. Murrow award and two Emmy nominations.
Anne Rosellini is an independent producer who works with director Debra Granik. Together they made the 2010 Oscar Nominated Winter’s Bone, and the 2004 Sundance winner Down to the Bone. Their latest film, Leave No Trace, was released in June of this year.
Panelists pictured above, left to right: Kirsten Schaffer, Ellen Huang, Tana Kupczak, Sirin Aysan, Anne Rosselini