USA Today survey: 94 percent of women in Hollywood have experienced harassment or assault

USA Today survey: 94 percent of women in Hollywood have experienced harassment or assault

A new survey from USA Today has found that 94 percent of women in Hollywood say they have experienced sexual harassment or assault during their careers.

The newspaper surveyed 843 women working in a variety of roles in the entertainment industry. Among the incidents the women reported were receiving unwanted sexual comments, being touched in sexual ways and receiving unsolicited sexual propositions, usually from people in higher positions of power than the accuser, according to the survey.

The survey found that more than one-fifth of respondents had been forced to do something sexual during their careers.

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While older women were found to be more likely to have at some point experienced sexual harassment, according to the survey, young women were more likely to report misconduct.

Only a fourth of women said they ever reported their experiences, many citing fear of retribution for speaking out.

More than a third of women said they were unsure that what they had experienced constituted sexual harassment, and 40 percent said they didn’t trust the system enough to speak out.

Only 28 percent of the women who did report their harassment said that their workplace condition improved.

Anita Raj, director of the Center for Gender Equity and Health at the University of California, San Diego, told USA Today that the survey should be treated with some caution due to the 94 percent figure, which she said is higher than what is typical for workplace abuses. However, she said the results were “credible and important.”

Raj told the newspaper that the high number of women experiencing harassment in Hollywood makes sense because of the “casting couch” culture that has been considered normal in the industry for decades.

The survey comes as the "Time’s Up" movement against sexual harassment in Hollywood continues to shine a light on the industry’s sexual harassment problems.