Hollywood cracks down on sexual harassment in industry

Actor and comedian Bill Cosby exits the Montgomery County Courthouse after a jury convicted him in a sexual assault retrial in Norristown, Pennsylvania. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo.

SANTA MONICA – Hollywood is currently at a crossroads with its future. Having loss two of its biggest names to sexual misconduct has created a stir in Hollywood that is changing things for them, starting with two names you probably won’t see again in the film world.

Bill Cosby was convicted of all three counts of indecent assault at the end of April. Cosby now faces up to three 10-year sentences with the chance of serving them concurrently. Cosby went on trial after several women came forward and accused Cosby of drugging and raping them. Days after the conclusion of  the trial, the Academy announced the removal of Cosby from its membership.

Cosby’s trial came on the back of the #metoo movement that started back in Oct. of 2017. The movement has lead to many women speaking against men in the film industry, starting with Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein currently faces up to five cases of accusatory rape that are currently under review by the LA County District Attorney, according to CNN. Weinstein was one of the first cases to appear right at the start of the #MeToo movement and was a big igniter for the movement.

Actress Ashley Judd filed a lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein for ruining her career after refusing his sexual advances. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

The outcome of Cosby’s trial provides hope to those who stepped up in the Weinstein cases. Like the Cosby case, the use of additional testimonies will become key in the prosecutors case to support the primary accuser’s allegations as reliable physical evidence isn’t likely to exist in the year old case. With names such as Ashley Judd coming to light against Weinstein, reports are suggesting actions will be taken against Weinstein.

However, in light of the Cosby and Weinstein cases, Hollywood has taken actions to assist those in the industry who are dealing with sexual harassment, refusing to let this stand any longer. Studios are providing on-set counseling and hotlines for casts and crews to seek help through situations that are hard to talk about, hoping to assist in hiding situations like this in the future.

Currently, Cosby is under house-arrest in his house in Pennsylvania until his sentencing hearing while Weinstein is seeking treatment in Arizona.