More than 300 Hollywood elite, including Shonda Rhimes, Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon, have joined forces for Time’s Up, a new initiative aiming to fight sexual harassment and assault in the workplace.
The women announced the launch with a lengthy letter of solidarity published as a full-page ad in the New York Times and the Spanish-language paper La Opinion on Monday.
“We want all survivors of sexual harassment, everywhere, to be heard, to be believed, and to know that accountability is possible,” the letter read, noting that Time’s Up wasn’t just limited to helping those in Hollywood.
“To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss…every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile… We stand with you. We support you.”
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One of Time’s Up major aspects is a legal defense fund for which the organization is currently soliciting donations via a GoFundMe.
The goal is to provide subsidized legal support to those who have faced harassment or assault in the workplace. It will be housed and administrated by the National Women’s Law Center, and currently has more than $13 million in donations.
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Time’s Up also wants to put forth legislation to penalize companies that turn a blind eye to harassment, as well as discourage nondisclosure agreements meant to keep victims quiet, according to the Times.
Yet another goal is for major Hollywood studios and talent agencies to reach gender parity — “time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly,” the letter reads.
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“It’s very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven’t cleaned our own house,” producer Shonda 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?”
The newspaper also listed Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Lawrence and Reese Witherspoon among the initiative’s supporters.
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The meetings reportedly began in October, shortly after Harvey Weinstein was first accused of sexual assault.
In the wake of the accusations against the Hollywood honcho, the floodgates opened, and thousands of women began sharing their stories of sexual abuse with the media and on social platforms using the hashtag #MeToo.
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Industry figures who have faced allegations of assault and harassment include Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K.
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