LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – On the same day a judge declined to dismiss the sexual assault charges against Harvey Weinstein, some of the movie mogul’s accusers gathered in Los Angeles Thursday to discuss the development as well as the new California laws prompted by the #MeToo movement.
“This is a day of celebration, this is a day of hope,” said Mira Sorvino, one of Weinstein’s alleged victims.
Sorvino joined lawmakers in North Hollywood to celebrate new #MeToo laws taking effect Jan. 1, 2019.
“As soon as I decided to go public with my allegations against Harvey Weinstein, I decided, ‘What am I going to do to change the situation?'” she said.
The Academy Award-winning actress started writing letters and calling lawmakers in an effort to elicit changes, and she wasn’t alone.
Fellow actress and Weinstein accuser Rosanna Arquette joined the fight.
“Seeing Harvey Weinstein being held criminally accountable for his deeds is of course encouraging, but it’s not enough,” Arquette said. “The past year has never been about a witch hunt. It has never been about one man, or even hundreds of men, the past year has been about change.”
The changes came in the form of:
- Senate Bill 1300, which outlaws non-disparagement clauses;
- SB 820, which outlaws secret settlements
- SB 224, which strengthens prohibitions against harassment in professional relationships
- Assembly Bill 3082, which establishes sexual harassment education for in-home support services.
“So many different people were told that they would have to have sexual relationships in order to advance themselves. That is just disgusting,” Sorvino said.
The changes aren’t just for Hollywood.
“These bills look to end the rape culture that continue the exploration and abuse of California’s most vulnerable workers,” actress Chantal Cousineau said.
Supporters hope the laws will spread across the country.
“Awareness without action is hollow,” Sorvino said.
Advocates are pushing for more bills, including one that changes the statute of limitations to report sexual harassment from one year to three years, and another measure would ensure every rape kit is processed.