WXXI AM News

sexual harassment

Why are women occasionally abused on movie sets, ostensibly for the sake of genuine art? The question was raised this past weekend, when Uma Thurman told the New York Times about abuses she has suffered. She says director Quentin Tarantino spit in her face and choked her with a chain on the set of Kill Bill.

Maria Schneider famously felt "a little raped" during filming for Last Tango in Paris when she was not warned about a scene in which her character was assaulted. Director Bernardo Bertolucci later said he "wanted her reaction as a girl, not as an actress."

But men rarely suffer such abuses. We discuss the double standard, and we discuss what lines should never be crossed for the sake of art. Our guests:

Actor and comedian Aziz Ansari is dealing with allegations of sexual misconduct. Those allegations have set off a debate about consent and communication during sexual interaction. Many women have said that the Ansari story offers an instructive parallel to their own experiences with men.

Our panel debates the lessons. Our guests:

  • Nicole Trabold, Ph.D., LMSW, National Research Service Award Fellow at the University of Rochester School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry
  • Allison O’Malley, chief executive officer of RESOLVE
  • Jenna Weintraub, sexuality educator
  • Lauren Berger, education and outreach specialist at RESTORE

On Thursday afternoon, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Mary Jo White announced the results of the independent investigation into how the University of Rochester handled sexual harassment allegations against professor Florian Jaeger. The complaints were made by Jaeger's former students and colleagues, including Celeste Kidd and Jessica Cantlon. The report concluded that while Jaeger acted inappropriately and used poor judgment, he did not break the law or violate campus policy. 

Those who filed the complaint have expressed confusion, anger, and frustration with those findings. We hear from them this hour. Our guests:

  • Celeste Kidd, assistant professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester
  • Jessica Cantlon, associate professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester
  • Steve Piantadosi, assistant professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester
  • Brad Mahon, associate professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester
  • Elissa Newport, former chair of the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester, and current faculty member at Georgetown University
  • Ann Olivarius, lead counsel in the complainants' lawsuit against the University of Rochester
  • Richard Aslin, former professor in the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester who currently works at Haskins Laboratory at Yale University

The University of Rochester has taken criticism for how it handled multiple complaints of sexual harassment on campus, particularly regarding faculty. On Thursday, a new report was released with findings on what happened, and whether the University reacted appropriately.

We provided live coverage of the news conference focusing on the report's release.

*Note: On Thursday afternoon, the University of Rochester announced that President Joel Seligman resigned.

An open letter from faculty leaders at the University of Rochester is critical of how the university is handling policies dealing with sexual harassment.

The critique comes from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, and it was published this week in the campus newspaper, the Campus Times.

As more women are speaking out about sexual harassment and sexual assault in the workplace and beyond, women in the media industry — specifically, television news — are sharing their stories of how they’ve been harassed by viewers. It’s a pervasive problem, with women discussing how the men and women who watch them make inappropriate comments about their appearances, clothing, personalities, and more. Anchors and reporters say the comments are offensive, disgusting, and racist.

We’re joined by local reporters who share what they’ve experienced. Our guests:

As more women across the country feel empowered to share their experiences of being sexual harassed or sexually assaulted -- often in the workplace -- some people are asking the question, "What could detail the #MeToo movement?" A piece in the Daily Beast addresses that and offers a warning. We discuss it with our guests:

  • Vanessa Cheeks, reporter for Open Mic Roc
  • Erin-Kate Howard, co-founder of Lady Parts Theatre Company
  • Kelsey Claire Hagen, comedian

Roger Ailes is out as the head of Fox News, and his fall was precipitated by a sexual harassment suit from former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson. After Carlson's allegations surfaced, many Fox News employees rallied to defend Ailes, but when current star anchor Megyn Kelly reportedly made her own allegations, the floodgates opened. More women came forward. Fox News responded by publishing glowing handwritten notes from Carlson, while Ailes' allies pointed out that Kelly has repeatedly praised Ailes over the years. Even Donald Trump implied that the women alleging harassment are ungrateful.

So for those who wonder why an employee can suffer harassment and still praise the harasser, we discuss what sexual harassment victims commonly go through. Our guests:

  • Beth Cordello, employment law attorney with Pullano & Farrow
  • Jack Tuckner, attorney focusing on women's rights in the workplace, and founding partner of one of the first firms to focus its practice on workplace gender rights