Actresses, producers, executives, and other entertainment industry power players — including Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, America Ferrera, Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, Amber Tamblyn, Kerry Washington, Lena Waithe, Natalie Portman, and Emma Stone — have joined forces to launch Time's Up, an initiative which aims to take down sexual harassment not only in Hollywood, but in blue collar jobs as well.
A full-page ad in The New York Times and the Spanish-language La Opinion paper revealed Time's Up's approach to addressing sexual harassment on a broader scale. The initiative has already raised $13 million towards a legal defense fund to "help survivors of sexual assault and harassment across all industries challenge those responsible for the harm against them and give voice to their experiences," according to the open letter.
Time's Up, which was formed soon after allegations against Harvey Weinstein were reported in October, will also push for legislation that takes action against companies that harbor perpetrators of sexual harassment. Gender equality in studios and talent agencies, and the discouragement of non-disclosure agreements, which are often used to stop employees from speaking out about poor treatment, are also on the group's agenda.
While the initiative strives to be inclusive, the open letter makes it clear that the Time's Up signatories will hold their industry accountable. That includes raising awareness for the #MeToo movement by wearing black to the Golden Globes, which air January 8.
“It’s very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven’t cleaned our own house,” Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away With Murder executive producer Rhimes told the Times.
“If this group of women can’t fight for a model for other women who don’t have as much power and privilege, then who can?"
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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