Over 200 women working in Hollywood’s animation industry sent an open letter Thursday to executives at all of the major Los Angeles studios — including Disney, Dreamworks, Warner Bros., Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Paramount, Sony Pictures Animation — demanding they help bring an end to the “widespread” sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
The letter, published by Cartoon Brew, features a list of demands and comes after Nickelodeon’s firing of animated series Loud House creator Chris Savino who was accused by a dozen women of sexual harassment.
From the letter:
We, the women and gender non-conforming people of the animation community, would like to address and highlight the pervasive problem of sexism and sexual harassment in our business. We write this letter with the hope that change is possible, and ask that you listen to our stories and then make every effort to bring a real and lasting change to the culture of animation studios.
Our business has always been male-dominated. Women make up only 23% of union employees, so it’s no surprise that problems with sexism and sexual harassment exist. Sexual harassment and assault are widespread issues that primarily affect women, with women of color, members of the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups affected at an even greater rate.
It has not been easy for us to share our stories with each other. Many of us were afraid because our victimizers are powerful or well-liked. Others were worried that if they came forward it would affect their careers. Some of us have come forward in the past, only to have our concerns brushed aside, or for our supervisors to tell us “he’s just from a different era.” All of us are saddened and disheartened to hear how widespread the problem of sexual harassment still is in the animation industry, and how many of our friends had been suffering in secret.