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Sexual harassment training is useless – it won’t stop abuse of power

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Since October last year the #MeToo movement has achieved what the law could not. It has swept across the globe like a sickle, cutting away at the undergrowth behind which sex abusers were hiding. It has prompted numerous Hollywood celebrities to share their personal stories of sexual violence, but has brought change extending well beyond Tinseltown.

Streaming giant Netflix saw its production of House of Cards seriously disrupted and lost millions of dollars after leading star Kevin Spacey became involved in a sexual assault scandal. The A-list star was accused of sexually assaulting actor Anthony Rapp when the latter was just 14 years old. After Rapp came forward, a slew of other allegations against Spacey emerged from more than 30 other individuals, including stories of sexual harassment and attempted rape.

Thrown into damage control mode, Netflix not only cut short House of Cards but also introduced anti-harassment training for its employees.

New rules imposed on film sets included a ban on lingering hugs, flirting, asking for a colleague’s phone number, and, believe it or not, staring at anyone for more than five seconds, which was considered odd and creepy.

These rules boil down to weeding out two types of........

© South China Morning Post