That sexual assault and sexual harassment occurs at all at the work place is disconcerting. That it can sometimes be tolerated and even be the source of entertainment for others makes such behavior even more offensive.

It is alleged that cast members on a heavily watched cable television series produced in California encouraged, observed and even filmed a sexual assault of one of their co-stars. This followed what was described as a long history of offensive behavior aimed at females that appeared on the show. The scandalous behavior was tolerated in part to increase viewership. Often, participants on the program even had financial incentive to act outrageously because it increased their chances of continually making appearances on the program. Now the makers of the production are being sued for assault, battery, sexual assault, wrongful firing or termination and sexual harassment.

Sometimes, legal action is required to keep such behavior in check. Attorneys experienced in the area of workplace discrimination are familiar with what conduct should and should not be tolerated at the workplace and can often force businesses to make changes that will prevent sexual harassment from ever taking place. It makes no difference if the employment is related to entertainment as well.

Despite the serious consequences of sexual harassment, employers have not always been responsive to changes and are often reluctant to implement policies that will keep such behavior in check. This is a failure of supervisors looking after those it employs, and it is also a failure of officers and directors of companies to provide a workplace atmosphere that is free of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Source: Courthouse News Service, “Cast Member Claims MTV’s ‘Real World’ Encouraged & Filmed Her Sexual Assault,” by Matt Reynolds, Oct. 31, 2011