Corporate Social Responsibility in Hollywood

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This past week, my J452 class was graced by — the very bubbly and engaging — guest speaker, Dr. Nneka Logan. Dr. Logan is one of the more accomplished public relations researchers who has been analyzing diversity in the workplace for some time now.  With her infectious smile and coffee in hand, she stood up in front of my class and presented us with a case study.

Imagine you are a 22 year old female in your prime child bearing years faced with the decision of spending your young adult life succeeding professionally or giving up your vocation to have a family. Your employer comes to you and says, “We would like to freeze your eggs so you can keep working and have babies later! Are you in or what?!”

First of all… gross. I was so confident that there would be a better term for preserving the miracle product of a woman's womb but upon further research, there is not. Every term sounds like a science experiment. Here is a breakdown of all the big sciencey words that go hand in hand with egg freezing.

Second of all… as my assertive, female teacher pointed out, this whole concept sounds like it was thought up by a bunch of men in a smoky board room with no consideration for the female experience. We students were tasked with dissecting what the ramifications of offering up egg freezing as an option means in terms of cooperate social responsibility.

This egg freezing concept is new to Silicon Valley and really makes me question what CSR is. Is it providing your employees with innovative baby making techniques? Could a company offering up this option be accused of sexual harassment and ageism? Then I was curious about how Hollywood is handling CSR amidst every scandal that has come out in the last year. Do those employed by the production ring feel ethical? Safe? Protected?

Hollywood is doing a lot for CSR. But the majority of it is environmental work and community outreach. It seems most men who have been accused of sexual harassment and assault in the industry have either been fired or blacklisted. But there seems to be no steps taken by anybody to prevent these things from happening again.

A huge part of CSR is making sure your employees like where they work. How is that possible when you can’t trust anyone in your workplace? As a society, we tend to forget scandal and tragedy fast. How long is it before the name Harvey Weinstein is just the punch line of a joke and not a representation of a fear most women have faced in their lifetime?

Here is the link to the #MeToo movement. They are pushing and agenda to end assault and harassment in the workplace. But until the major companies like Warner Bros. and Paramount enlist a new way of doing things, the work place may remain the same.

 

sophia cleugh