After the Harvey Weinstein allegations, models have begun speaking out about sexual abuse
In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations, women across different industries have begun to speak out against harassment and sexual abuse. Connections between Weinstein and the fashion world have been explored, and earlier this month, model and activist Cameron Russell shared via Instagram disturbing stories of harassment and sexual assault that fellow models had experienced.
Now, New York State assemblywoman Nily Rozic wants to implement an amendment to the state’s anti-discrimination laws that would protect models. There can be a murky grey area of who is held responsible when a model is harassed or assaulted — the agencies, the clients, or the models themselves (if they are hired as an independent contractor). Under the new amendment, legal liability would be put on the clients — designers, photographers and retailers.
The bill was initiated by the Models Alliance, an advocacy group founded by model and activist Sara Ziff, several months before the Weinstein allegations. “Ziff was working on a legal project with Elizabeth Cooper, a professor at Fordham, when she realized how limited the scope of the current sexual-harassment law was,” The Cut writes. “Cooper told the New York Times that it is an option for models to go to the police, but many don’t because of their young age, a language barrier, or a lack of a support system.”
Rozic hopes the amendment will become law by 2018.