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Harvey Weinstein Scandal May Prompt A Sea Change In Hollywood


And we're seeing more fallout in the entertainment industry following sex-abuse allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein. People in Hollywood are asking some tough questions about how to change the industry. Here's NPR's Ted Robbins.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: Cathy Schulman is president of the LA-based nonprofit Women in Film. She says she has never seen so many members come forward for help.

CATHY SCHULMAN: A lot of pain, and a lot of need for communication, resources and references.

ROBBINS: Schulman is herself an Oscar-winning producer with 30 years in Hollywood. She says Women in Film will announce that it's setting up a program to steer women toward help, whether it's a compassionate ear, mental health referrals or legal counseling.

SCHULMAN: We will be putting together a group of legal experts who will be able to provide pro bono assessment of claims and also weed out, you know, what is, you know, a valid claim, what might not be a valid claim and whether or not the legal process is a course through which a person could actually find recourse.

ROBBINS: More and more women in Hollywood are coming forward with stories of sexual harassment or discrimination, from little-known actresses to Oscar-winners Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lawrence. Schulman says those in power now, from stars to executives, need to speak up and stop the harassment. And she says settlements that forbid women from speaking, which happened at least eight times with Harvey Weinstein, also need to end.

SCHULMAN: People are generally told that if you've got this kind of a complaint, we want you out of here - that damages their career - but we'll give you a little money - which softens the pain - but you can't speak, which keeps it a secret. And then the pattern repeats itself. That has got to stop.

ROBBINS: A harassment complaint cost another executive his job Tuesday. Roy Price, who headed Amazon Studios, resigned just days after Isa Hackett, executive producer of the series "Man In The High Castle," publicly accused him of repeated unwanted propositions two years ago. As for Harvey Weinstein, accused by dozens of women of lewd behavior and even rape over a period of decades, he is said to be in Arizona at rehab for sex addiction. Tuesday the board of the Weinstein Company met in New York and reaffirmed his firing. Harvey Weinstein also resigned from the board. Ted Robbins, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

As supervising editor for Arts and Culture at NPR based at NPR West in Culver City, Ted Robbins plans coverage across NPR shows and online, focusing on TV at a time when there's never been so much content. He thinks "arts and culture" encompasses a lot of human creativity — from traditional museum offerings to popular culture, and out-of-the-way people and events.