ERA Applauds Survivors in Weinstein Trial, Demands Justice for All Victims
December 20. 2022
For Immediate Release
Dec 20, 2022
Statement from Noreen Farrell, Executive Director:
San Francisco, December 20, 2022 — Yesterday a Los Angeles jury found Harvey Weinstein guilty of the sexual assault of an actress in 2013. The jurors remained split on other accusations. The case represents a pivotal moment in the fight for gender justice and sexual assault survivors. Equal Rights Advocates applauds the survivors who testified on the stand. They bravely shared their stories as their perpetrator watched, and in the face of bullying and misogynistic attacks by defense counsel. The courage of these survivors, including First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, resonated with and inspires countless others who have been harmed by sexual violence.
Weinstein survivors should take comfort in the progress they have inspired. They joined other Hollywood activists and worker survivors across hundreds of industries to help ERA pass the strongest laws in the nation combatting sexual harassment and assault. With the Stronger California Advocates Network, they bravely took on the system that protected serial predators like Harvey Weinstein.
Together, we passed new laws prohibiting sexual harassment in a broader range of professional nonemployment relationships (SB 224); extending the time to file sexual harassment and retaliation claims (AB 1947 and AB 9); addressing sexual harassment/assault in the janitorial industry (AB 1978); abolishing the “one free grope” rule by clarifying the legal standard and requiring stronger anti-harassment training (SB 1300); prohibiting retaliation against those who complain including through “no rehire” clauses in settlements (AB 749); and ending the silencing of survivors through forced arbitration (AB 51) and nondisclosure agreements (NDAs) (SB 331).
ERA is replicating these laws in dozens of states and even the federal level with help from our many partners in the Stop Harassment State Network. 2022 ushered in laws prohibiting forced arbitration of sexual harassment claims and nondisclosure agreements silencing workers who step forward to complain about harassment. ERA proudly builds on this momentum through the activation of survivors as voters.
ERA thanks courageous Weinstein survivors and other activists who served as Hollywood Advisors to us as we developed legislation addressing sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry and beyond. They include Mira Sorvino, Rosanna Arquette, First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom, Caitlin Dulany, Sarah Ann Masse, as well as Patricia Arquette, Ellen Barkin, Jessica Barth, Chantal Cousineau, Rosario Dawson, Frances Fisher, Pamela Guest, and Christine Lahti. Many more professionals from Hollywood, as well as clients and partners across the country, deserve our gratitude.
As we recognize the progress we have made, this split verdict reminds us of the work that lies ahead. For instance, Weinstein was granted an appeal for his 2020 New York conviction, and we know his legal team will continue to fight every conviction. We urge the courts to use their power to demonstrate that rape, sexual assault, and sexual harassment will not be tolerated, even from the most powerful and influential perpetrators.
It’s important to remember that countless women and trans people experience similar predatory behavior at work. But not all of these workers have the resources or influence to come forward and take action. The fact that some of the most powerful and privileged women in the country faced so many hurdles to see Weinstein in court shows just how difficult it is to seek justice. Women of color, women earning low or no income, undocumented women, and LGBTQ+ people all face even more significant barriers.
At Equal Rights Advocates, we will continue to defend and advocate for victims of workplace sexual harassment of all identities, backgrounds, and industries, so that we can all feel safe and thrive at work, school, and beyond.
Noreen Farrell is available for interviews upon request, contact Paulina Campos at [email protected] or 650-455-9928.
About Equal Rights Advocates
Equal Rights Advocates fights for gender justice in workplaces and schools across the country. Since 1974, we have been fighting on the front lines of social justice to protect and advance rights and opportunities for women, girls, and people of all gender identities through groundbreaking legal cases and bold legislation that sets the stage for the rest of the nation.