Who are the Australian Harvey Weinsteins?

There's a list of local, well-known men, including a top television presenter, a Hollywood A-lister and a soap star, doing the rounds among women in the Australian film and television industry.

According to an insider it's been in circulation for years, passed down through the ranks as a way to warn and protect each other, but has grown in recent weeks following the scandal surrounding former Hollywood heavyweight producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of decades of sexual harassment or assault, including allegations of rape.

The identities of those who have been accused in Australia would shock, including household names.

Fairfax Media has been told of at least two different encounters with the TV presenter inviting younger, female staff members to his home on the pretext of discussing work. Once inside, he offered them alcohol and massages.

Both women left in distress, and reported the incidents to senior executives but they were told: "Oh that's just [Mr X], everyone knows that is what he does."

A woman who has worked in the industry for more than a decade and who only spoke to Fairfax Media on condition of anonymity, opened up about an Australian soap star who harassed her and several other women. Despite reporting the abuse, he continued working completely unhindered.

There's also a film star who has been accused of inappropriately touching production staff.

Another warning is circulating about a TV star who has been accused of headbutting an ex-girlfriend in the face and breaking her nose. He continues working in the spotlight, including for charities.

Since the New York Times story first unearthed the Weinstein allegations, the floodgates have opened. More than 40 accusations have been made against Weinstein of sexual harassment, and in some cases assault, that first started with actor Ashley Judd's account from two decades ago.

An Australian film and television insider believes that the same could happen here, but it will take longer because of Australia's insular nature.

Tracey Spicer, veteran journalist and regular contributor to Fairfax Media, has already promised to reveal the names of "long-term offenders" and is investigating two but she said there are "plenty more".

But she believes it'll be months before accusers are named and shamed.

"The #metoo movement, following the revelations about Harvey Weinstein, has become a catalyst for hundreds of people coming forward, and finally naming names," Spicer said.

"While the majority wish to remain anonymous, for fear of retribution from powerful people within the industry, others are saying 'enough is enough'. They are planning to report these instances to police, and go on the record. But this investigation must be done properly. We will deeply research these cases for a matter of months before proper action is taken. It's time to do this, once and for all, to ensure the safety of women in the media and entertainment industry.

"We're at a tipping point: predators have been protected for too long and management is culpable."

If you've been sexually harassed at work, you can call 1800 RESPECT or Beyond Blue to talk to a counsellor. To make a complaint and find out more about your rights, visit the Anti-Discrimination Board of New South Wales or the Australian Human Rights Commission websites.

This story Who are the Australian Harvey Weinsteins? first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.