Sunday 22 September 2019

Hundreds take part in Hollywood march against sexual harassment

Crowds march against sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Crowds march against sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

Hundreds of women, men and children took part in a protest against sexual harassment in Hollywood on Sunday a rmed with signs, catchy phrases and a motivation to take #MeToo beyond the internet and into real life.

The Take Back the Workplace March and the #MeToo Survivors March joined forces in the heart of Hollywood, near the entrance to the Dolby Theatre on Hollywood Boulevard where the Academy Awards takes place.

They walked side by side past the tourists, costume shops, strip clubs and a man wearing a "Whiskey Made Me Do It" T-shirt to gather for a rally of rousing speeches from the likes of Harvey Weinstein accuser Lauren Sivan and Oscar-winning producer Cathy Schulman.

"Not in pots, not in plants, keep your junk inside your pants," the crowd chanted for a few minutes, before shifting gears to: "Harvey Weinstein is a joke, women workers just got woke."

Other chants included, "Survivors united, we'll never be divided" and "Whatever we wear, wherever we go, 'yes' means 'yes' and 'no' means 'no'."

Nancy Allen, 52, from Los Angeles, attended the march, and said: "We've been silent too long. A lot of people have kept this inside us for years and years."

Howard Kim, a 68-year-old Los Angeles resident, came out to support the march.

"I'm just a little sorry there aren't more people out here," he said. "I was hoping there would be."

Event organisers estimated there were about 200 to 300 attendees. But they also acknowledged that it was "difficult to tell" with the normal Hollywood Boulevard crowds.

The protesters walked about a mile to the corner of Sunset Boulevard and Cole Place, the site of the CNN headquarters, where a podium was set up for the Take Back the Workplace rally.

Sivan, a TV journalist who alleged sexual harassment from Weinstein and served as the "celebrity chair" of the Take Back the Workplace event, said that the time was ripe for a re-ordering of power.

"We want our daughters and sons to be able to go to a workplace and never have to take a meeting with a dude in a bathrobe," she said. "They will never have to choose to put out or keep their job."

Schulman said: " I've seen it all. I've seen every bit of harassment.

"However, I've produced 20 movies, I've supervised over 150 movies, I've won an Academy Award. I've even raised a 17-year-old daughter.

"Do not let them destroy us. We can win this war. It's a game. It's a game of power that we can win."

Although there were not many celebrities at the march, some supported the protest from afar.

"To all my sisters and brothers out there marching today in L.A Sending you love and support from thousands of miles away!" said Patricia Arquette on Twitter.


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