ANITA HILL SPEAKS OUT ON THE HARVEY SITUATION WEINSTEIN

 

FILE- In Jan. 19, 2013 file photo, Anita Hill, subject of the documentary film "ANITA," poses at the premiere of the film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. From the Clarence Thomas hearings to the Harvey Weinstein scandal: Some 26 years after her testimony brought sexual harassment into the national spotlight, Hill says she sees the needle moving yet again with the saga that is transfixing Hollywood. Yet Hill also cautions that real-world progress will be incremental at best, and many women in the workplace still fear retaliation if they come forward. Others cite confidential settlements as a hindrance to progress. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

FILE- In Jan. 19, 2013 file photo, Anita Hill, subject of the documentary film “ANITA,” poses at the premiere of the film at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. From the Clarence Thomas hearings to the Harvey Weinstein scandal: Some 26 years after her testimony brought sexual harassment into the national spotlight, Hill says she sees the needle moving yet again with the saga that is transfixing Hollywood. Yet Hill also cautions that real-world progress will be incremental at best, and many women in the workplace still fear retaliation if they come forward. Others cite confidential settlements as a hindrance to progress. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)

It’s been 26 years since Anita Hill, soft-spoken and deliberate in her bright blue suit, sat before a Senate panel and detailed the lurid sexual harassment charges that would transfix a nation. Clarence Thomas went on to the Supreme Court, but Hill’s testimony was a watershed moment that raised awareness in incalculable ways.  Will the sordid Harvey Weinstein scandal be recalled as another one of those watershed moments, its reverberations spilling out of Hollywood into the everyday workplace? Hill is one of those who think it will.  “I absolutely think we needed something to push the needle, and this has done it,” Hill said in an interview from Brandeis University, where she has led a quiet academic life since 1998.  All along, Hill says, there have been bits and pieces that have moved that needle a bit. But the Weinstein story, with its ever-growing cascade of disturbing revelations, reminds her of her own ordeal. “I think one of the reasons 1991 was so impactful was how public it was — people had faces and voices, and it was almost like a long conversation about how these things play out. This Weinstein story feels like a long conversation too, with different parts getting developed and different people being brought into it.”