A survey by USA Today, the Creative Coalition, Women in Film and Television and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center finds that 94 percent of women who work in the entertainment industry say that they have been sexually harassed or assaulted. Eight hundred and forty-three women took part in the survey.
What might be even more startling is that more than one-fifth of the women surveyed -- 21 percent -- say they were forced to perform a sexual act. Sixty-four percent of women said they were propositioned for a sexual act or relationship. Only a quarter of the women surveyed said they ever reported sexually inappropriate behavior in the workplace, fearing retaliation. And of those who did report the incident, only 28 percent said the situation improved as a result.
On a more hopeful note, the survey found that younger women with fewer than five years of experience are more likely to call out sexual misconduct, signaling a change for the future.
Anita Raj, director of the Center for Gender Equity and Health at the University of California, San Diego's medical school, told USA Today that the findings should be taken with a grain of salt, since the survey respondents were self-selected and not scientifically representative. But she also said the results are overall "credible and important."
Raj said that the percentages in the survey are higher than what is typically reported across all industries, but that "it makes sense" to see higher numbers in the entertainment industry given the "casting couch" culture.
"Yes, I'd like to see more solidity in the scientific aspects of how the data was collected. But 94 percent does not seem shocking. It says this is ubiquitous in Hollywood," Raj said. "There is a lack of clarity on what constitutes professional interactions in this (Hollywood) context. So it wouldn't surprise me if in fact it were 94 percent."
See the full survey results, including other responses, here.