Larry Mantle |

Sexual harrassment in Hollywood and the appeal of sex work in a bleak economy




On Wednesday’s AirTalk, we talked about sexual harassment in Hollywood and whether the industry has made significant strides in combating it.  Fortunately, we heard several positive accounts from women who’ve been in the business for years who said things were far better now than in the past.  Not surprisingly, we also had listeners giving us current examples of attempts by those with industry clout to abuse it.

Within recent years I had the experience of visiting a publicist’s office to interview a major film industry figure.  One of the employees for the publicity company came into the room and asked if we’d like anything to drink.  After bringing drinks, the woman asked the industry figure if he’d like any creamer for his coffee.  His response was, “only if it comes from your breasts.”

He laughed at his political incorrectness, but what I noticed was the young woman’s face.  I thought she looked embarrassed and hurt. 

Granted, I don’t know how well the two knew each other and whether there was a context I was missing.  However, my sense was that the woman didn’t usually work with the man and didn’t see it as an “in joke.” 

Rightly or wrongly, the comment really surprised and angered me.  Though I didn’t say anything to the interviewee about his comment, he quickly stopped laughing when he saw my facial reaction. 

If you come across comments like this, how do you handle them?

Also on Wednesday’s program, we talked about whether more Southern Californians are turning to sex work when they wouldn’t have considered it in a better economy.  We had terrific callers and listener posts on the AirTalk page.