In October 2017, curator Amanda Schmitt filed a lawsuit accusing then–Artforum co-publisher Knight Landesman of sexual harassment. The allegation against one of the industry’s most powerful figures was an early case of Tarana Burke’s #MeToo movement reaching the art world. It created a seismic shift in awareness of the deep-rooted systems that enable—and shield—abusive behavior.
Two years on, countless others have shared their long-buried experiences of sexual harassment in both private and work environments, including museums, galleries, and schools. As survivors named high-profile men such as
, others reckoned with what to do with art by an alleged abuser: To contextualize or to cancel?
Schmitt’s lawsuit was dismissed by a New York State court in January—but elsewhere, changes are on the horizon. Institutions, pressured to acknowledge power structures that can breed misconduct, are wrestling with ways to protect cultural workers. For most, this requires not only creating safe workplaces, but also correcting the gender and racial imbalance of staff. Such protocols are steps towards sustaining the movement. For now, the message remains clear: Predatory behavior long dismissed as cultural norm will no longer be tolerated.