Actor Rose Marie shamed her harasser in 1954 and paid dearly for it.

To hear some critics tell it, sexual harassment and assault are modern problems brought on by loosening sexual mores, the infiltration of women into male spaces, and the abandonment of "traditional" values.

A tragic counterpoint is the story of "The Dick Van Dyke Show" star Rose Marie who, at 94, wrote an op-ed for the Hollywood Reporter about being harassed at work in 1954 and her heartbreaking experience when she tried to verbally shame her harasser.

Rose Marie. Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images.


Marie wrote that her moment came on the set of the musical "Top Banana." The actor and comedian clapped back at her harasser — a producer on the film — and, predictably, suffered professional consequences as a result.

The producer of the film came up to me after I'd run through the song called "I Fought Every Step of the Way," which had boxing references, and said that he could show me a few positions. He wasn't referring to boxing. I laughed it off, but he said he was serious and that the picture could be mine.

Well, in front of everyone onstage, I said, "You son of a bitch, you couldn't get it up if a flag went by." Needless to say, that didn't go over well with him, and all my musical numbers were cut from the film. I had no idea that his reaction to my refusal would be so bad.

I realized then that the rumors of the casting couch weren't jokes and why some actresses were getting breaks and why others, sometimes way more talented, weren't.



Marie's story illustrates why victims of harassment and abuse often don't "fight back."

A recent University of Michigan analysis found that less than a third of all people who have experienced workplace harassment reported it. Of those who didn't, most were afraid of being branded "troublemakers" and being subjected to sidelining, marginalization, or worse.

Those fears are founded. A 2016 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission analysis found that 75% of reporters experienced some form of retaliation.

If we're only hearing about these stories now, that may be because victims finally feel they will be believed.

Dustin Hoffman. Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images.

The stories themselves span decades. In 2004, former writers assistant Amaani Lyle sued Warner Bros. for racial and gender-based harassment she said she endured in the "Friends" writers room almost 20 years ago. (Lyle ultimately lost the suit in 2006.) Earlier this year, writer Anna Graham Hunter described being verbal harassed by actor Dustin Hoffman on the set of "Death of a Salesman" in 1985 — 32 years ago. And those are just the very tip of the iceberg.

When it comes to gender-based harassment and abuse, there was nothing good about the "good ol' days."

Women were harassed, abused, intimidated, and blackballed in the workplace back then too. Their overwhelmingly male bosses helped forge a culture of silence where victims were often too isolated and too professionally vulnerable to speak out.

We should be grateful that those days are, slowly but surely, coming to an end.

True
Back Market

Between the new normal that is working from home and e-learning for students of all ages, having functional electronic devices is extremely important. But that doesn't mean needing to run out and buy the latest and greatest model. In fact, this cycle of constantly upgrading our devices to keep up with the newest technology is an incredibly dangerous habit.

The amount of e-waste we produce each year is growing at an increasing rate, and the improper treatment and disposal of this waste is harmful to both human health and the planet.

So what's the solution? While no one expects you to stop purchasing new phones, laptops, and other devices, what you can do is consider where you're purchasing them from and how often in order to help improve the planet for future generations.

Keep Reading Show less

Sir David Attenborough has one of the most recognized and beloved voices in the world. The British broadcaster and nature historian has spent most of his 94 years on Earth educating humanity about the wonders of the natural world, inspiring multiple generations to care about the planet we all call home.

And now, Attenborough has made a new name for himself. Not only has he joined the cool kids on Instagram, he's broken the record for reaching a million followers in the shortest period. It only took four hours and 44 minutes, which is less time than it took Jennifer Aniston, who held the title before him at 5 hours and 16 minutes.

A day later, Attenborough is sitting at a whopping 3.4 million followers. And he only has two Instagram posts so far, both of them videos. But just watch his first one and you'll see why he's attracted so many fans.

Keep Reading Show less
True

$200 billion of COVID-19 recovery funding is being used to bail out fossil fuel companies. These mayors are combatting this and instead investing in green jobs and a just recovery.

Learn more on how cities are taking action: c40.org/divest-invest


via State of Deleware

Same-sex marriage is legal in America and these days 63% of all Americans support the idea. Ten years ago, it was still a controversial issue among Democrats, but in 2019, 79% say they support same-sex marriage.

The issue played a big role in the Democratic primary for the Delaware's House of Representatives 27th district race. On September 15, Eric Morrison defeated incumbent Earl Jacques in a landslide and gay rights was a central issue.

In 2013, Jaques voted against same-sex marriage and refused to vote yes or no on banning gay conversion therapy in the state. On the other hand, Morrison is a gay drag queen who performs under the name Anita Mann and is very progressive on LGBTQ issues.

Keep Reading Show less

One night in 2018, Sheila and Steve Albers took their two youngest sons out to dinner. Their 17-year-old son, John, was in a crabby mood—not an uncommon occurrence for the teen who struggled with mental health issues—so he stayed home.

A half hour later, Sheila's started getting text messages that John wasn't safe. He had posted messages with suicidal ideations on social media and his friends had called the police to check on him. The Albers immediately raced home.

When they got there, they were met with a surreal scene. Their minivan was in the neighbor's yard across the street. John had been shot in the driver's seat six times by a police officer who had arrived to check on him. The officer had fired two shots as the teen slowly backed the van out of the garage, then 11 more after the van spun around backward. But all the officers told the Albers was that John had "passed" and had been shot. They wouldn't find out until the next day who had shot and killed him.

Keep Reading Show less