Panel: Sexual Harassment in the Film Industry

Raising Our Voices: Combating Sexual Harassment in the Film Industry


In an effort to address the current topic of sexual harassment in the industry, we will present a range of personal and professional perspectives, highlight the potentially problematic behaviors that might be involved in harassment, and make people aware of best practices and resources for preventing and/or addressing such situations. We may also discuss whether there are special considerations in Las Vegas, a city which has called attention to female sexuality as part of its entertainment model.


Saturday March 24, 2018 at 12 PM at the Eclipse Theaters


Panelists include:  filmmaker Rebecca Thomas (Stranger Things, Electrick Children), documentarian Alexis Krasilovskly (Women Behind the Camera), actress Susan Anton (Golden Girl), sexual harassment lawyer Ann McGinley, web series producer Samantha Thomas (Small Talk) and makeup artist Debra Weite (Jason Bourne, So You Think You Can Dance).  Panel will be moderated by Dr. Heather Addision, Chair of UNLV's Department of Film.


Panel: Sexual Harassment in the Film Industry

Confirmed Panelists

Heather Addison
Dr. Heather Addison | Moderator

Dr. Heather Addison joined the department in 2016 as Chair. Dr. Addison has taught a broad range of courses in film history, criticism, and theory. Her primary research area is Hollywood's relationship to American culture, and at UNLV she will be focusing on the materials in the Department of Film’s Howard Hughes Collection.

Dr. Addison has published her work in a large number of scholarly journals. Her books include Hollywood and the Rise of Physical Culture (Routledge, 2003) and Motherhood Misconceived: Representing the Maternal in U.S. Films (SUNY, 2010), a collection of essays co-edited with Elaine Roth and Mary Kate Goodwin-Kelly.

Susan Anton
Susan Anton | Panelist

Susan Anton has been recognized as a multi talented international star for more than 35 years in television, film, theater, and concert venues. She was nominated for a Golden Globe in her first film outing, Golden Girl, and was soon thereafter signed by NBC to star in her own variety show, Presenting Susan Anton. ABC later signed her to a development deal where she starred in the hourly drama, Cliffhangers. She has appeared in hundreds of film and television projects over the years.

Her Broadway credits include co-starring with the original Broadway cast of Tommy Tune's Tony Award-winning musical The Will Rogers Follies; she also worked with director Mike Nichols in David Rabe's Pulitzer Prize winning play Hurlyburly. She co-starred as Velma Von Tussle in the Las Vegas production of the Broadway musical, Hairspray, opposite Harvey Fierstein, which was directed by Tony Award winner Jack O’Brien and choreographed by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell. She reprised the role for three spectacular evenings at the Hollywood Bowl with an all-star cast, which was directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell. She co-starred in the national tour of the Broadway musical All Shook Up, directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.

Susan starred for seven years in the The Great Radio City Music Hall Spectacular with the legendary Rockettes, directed by the late Joe Layton. She also toured in the Neil Simon/Marvin Hamlish production of They’re Playing Our Song and then went on to co-star with Elizabeth Ashley in the national tour of A Couple of White Chicks Sitting Around Talking. She has shared the stage with legendary entertainers Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davies Jr., Tom Jones, and many more. She toured with country super star Kenny Rogers and had a top 10 country hit with the song “Killing Time”. Internationally, she had recording success and received a Gold record for her hit, “Foxy”.

Susan and her husband, director, Jeff Lester have called Las Vegas home for more than 20 years. In 1997 they opened their production company, Big Picture Studios. Under their banner, Susan executive produced the award winning The Last Real Cowboys, starring Oscar winner, Billy Bob Thornton, and also executive produced the documentary Speed of Life with Amy Purdy, the inspirational Sochi bronze medalist who was also runner up in Dancing With The Stars. Susan is currently a minority partner and celebrity brand ambassador in a new California based beverage company, Spa Girl Cocktails.

Alexis Krasilovsky
Alexis Krasilovsky | Panelist

After studying film history at Yale University, Alexis Krasilovsky embarked on a career as an independent filmmaker and holographer.  She later received an MFA in Film/Video from California Institute of the Arts.

Krasilovsky was the first to include the film techniques of zooming and dissolving in a motion picture hologram, Created and Consumed by Light (1975).  Her pro-choice hologram, Childbirth Dream, was exhibited at the Georges Pompidou Center and other museums and festivals here and abroad.  

As head of her own production company - Rafael Film, LLC - Krasilovsky has written, directed and produced numerous documentaries, video-poems and art films, including End of the WorldExileWhat Memphis Needs and Blood.  Her global documentary feature, Women Behind the Camera (and the shorter version, Shooting Women), won five Best Documentary awards, as well as a Tribute Award “for achievement in independent cinema” from the San Francisco Women’s Film Festival and a lifetime achievement award from the Gdansk DocFilm Festival.

Meeting other filmmakers at festivals around the world that have screened her work compelled Krasilovsky to think transnationally and transculturally addressing the perils and pleasures of pastry in Pastriology (2013) and Let Them Eat Cake (2014) with the help of co-producers and unit producers from Bangladesh, France, India, Japan, Mexico, Peru, the Republic of Guinea, Turkey and other countries.

Most recently, Krasilovsky has written the book Great Adaptations: Screenwriting and Global Storytelling and a novel entitled Sex and the Cyborg Goddess (under the pseudonym Alexis Rafael), which tackles sexual liberation and sexual assault on a college campus, and sexual harassment in the film industry.

Alexis Krasilovsky is Professor in the Department of Cinema and Television Arts at California State University, Northridge, where she has taught film production, screenwriting and media theory and criticism.  

Krasilovsky is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors, the International Documentary Association, Women in Film, and the Writers Guild of America/west.

Ann c. McGinley
Ann C. McGinley | Panelist

Ann C. McGinley is the William S. Boyd Professor of Law at the Boyd School of Law of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she has taught Employment Law, Employment Discrimination, Torts Law, Disability Law, and seminars on employment and gender since 1999. Professor McGinley is the co-director of the Workplace Law Program and a member of the Health Law Program at Boyd School of Law. Professor McGinley is an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of employment, disability, and torts law and a leader in Multidimensional Masculinities Theory, an emerging discipline that applies masculinities theory from social sciences to legal interpretation.

She has published more than fifty law review articles and book chapters. She is the author of Masculinity at Work: Employment Discrimination Through a Different Lens. This book uses masculinities theory to analyze Title VII employment discrimination cases and to propose new applications of the law. McGinley is the editor of Masculinities and the Law: A Multidimensional Approach (with Frank Rudy Cooper) and the author of Disability Law: Cases, Materials, Problems, Sixth Edition and Disability Law: Statutory Appendix: Federal Statutes and Regulations, Fifth Edition.

JJ Snyder
JJ Snyder | Panelist

With a background as a television host and actress, JJ Snyder has interviewed many of Hollywood's biggest stars including Tom Cruise, Cate Blanchett, and Morgan Freeman. Working as a correspondent for ABC’s On The Red Carpet, she covered major movie premieres, celebrity chefs, and award shows. In 2016, JJ was thrilled to join The Las Vegas Morning Blend on ABC Channel 13.

A live performer in her own right, JJ has gone from equity theatre to jumping out of boxes as a Magician’s Assistant.

After graduating from USC, JJ hustled to get in the actor’s union working as an extra, till she booked her first role in the film Coyote Ugly. She’s gone on to play many notable characters in films and on hit TV shows such as NCIS LA, Two Broke Girls, Family Guy, Castle, Grey's Anatomy, Glee and Two and Half Men.

Rebecca Thomas
Rebecca Thomas | Panelist

Rebecca Thomas was born in Walnut Creek, California on December 10, 1984. She was raised in Las Vegas, Nevada, the youngest of 5 children. She took a break from studying film at Brigham Young University to serve an 18-month Mormon mission in Japan. She went on to pursue her MFA in film directing at Columbia University in New York City.

She wrote the screenplay for the short Nobody Knows You, Nobody Gives a Damn, which was an Official Selection at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009. Electrick Children, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, is Thomas’ debut feature film as a writer/director. Since then she has been slated to direct The Little Mermaid live action adaption written by Richard Curtis (Four Weddings and a FuneralBridget Jones’ Diary) and starring Chloe Moretz. She is also preparing to direct the adaptation of the John Green (The Fault in our Stars) novel, Looking for Alaska.

Samantha Thomas
Samantha Thomas | Panelist

Samantha Thomas is an Emmy Award Winning Journalist, and Talk Show Host. She is the Creator, and Executive Producer of SmallTALK with Samantha, a Lifestyle Talk Show airing monthly on Vegas PBS (Channel 110). She received her degree in Journalism from Lincoln University of Missouri, and has worked as a TV News producer in markets across the U.S. including, Missouri (CBS), Las Vegas (FOX & CBS), and her hometown of Chicago (CBS & WGN).

Samantha hopes her talk show will not only touch her demographic of Women, but others with a message of hope. She lives by the motto, "If you can Dream It, you can Achieve It."

Debra Weite
Debra Weite | Panelist

Debra Weite has over a decade of experience in the film and television industries. A licensed cosmetologist, Debra began her career on the set of Scare Tactics, assisting Jim Sacca (uncredited). A strong and supportive mentor, Jim threw Debra in many projects thus giving her a diverse body of experience very quickly. On her own, Debra started working at a small studio and within a year became the department head at that broadcast studio in Las Vegas. Debra was also heading up hair and makeup crews for runway shows, live events and print work. As her career progressed, Debra's gotten to work alongside some of her most respected colleagues, like Eve Pearl, Melissa Street, and Alex Noble.

Debra has won a few local awards and the films she's worked on have gotten awarded on the festival circuit. She's rapidly risen through the ranks in her community through hard work and dedication to her craft. Currently, Debra is working on a few varied projects, and when not on set she's either in the salon or instructing in a classroom.