Diversity advocate Cindy Gallop, who issued a call to action on Facebook earlier this week for advertising professionals to speak up about sexual harassers in the industry, says she has been inundated with emails "telling truly appalling stories from women, and a few men who want to see justice done, from our industry all around the world."
The Facebook post, she says, came in response to the outpouring of sexual harassment stories allegedly committed by Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein over the decades.
Virtually everyone who reached out to her is requesting anonymity due to fear of retaliation from their companies, says Gallop, a consultant and founder of IfWeRanTheWorld. The complaints, she says, are about much more than white male ad industry executives "abusing their power." They also include stories about HR departments and agency management firing sexual harassers without publicizing why; male leaders who stood by, were complicit in or laughed when harassment took place; and women who were "culturally brainwashed" to be complicit, she says.
Gallop doubled down on her call to action Thursday, when director Quentin Tarantino released a statement that said he had been aware of the allegations against Weinstein and wished he had spoken up about it. In response, Gallop, posted a number of tweets to her nearly 60,000 followers, such as, "Men of the ad industry, Quentin Tarantino regrets being complicit and not taking a stand. You still have that opportunity."
Regardless of how many gender equality and diversity initiatives are launched in the industry, Gallop says nothing will ever change unless people start speaking up.
"We desperately need bravery," says Gallop. "I'm asking for just a few women—and men—in our industry to come forward, to be brave enough to speak up, put their names to their stories, and call out the harassers in public."
Gallop, who is asking for people to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, says that, just as with Weinstein, "the first few brave enough to do that will find the floodgates open and they will be joined by many others."
See some of Gallop's tweets and Facebook posts below.
"If I had done the work I should have done then, I would have had to not work with him." Are you listening, white men of the ad industry? https://t.co/L6LtQlzPjl— Cindy Gallop (@cindygallop) October 19, 2017