To kick off 2018, women in Hollywood have announced a plan to fight back against sexual harassment and gender inequality in the entertainment industry and beyond.
The Time’s Up initiative was officially launched on Monday, January 1 with the ambitious goal of addressing “the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential.”
The founding members include 300 prominent actresses, female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives, including Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Shonda Rhimes, Ellen Page, and Emmy-winning writer and Master of None actor Lena Waithe, among many others. Time’s Up was formed soon after the news regarding Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct broke.
Time's up on silence. Time's up on waiting. Time's up on tolerating discrimination, harassment and abuse. #TimesUp Sign the solidarity letter & donate to the @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund: https://t.co/nhagdfGvVd pic.twitter.com/jUfFy4d04S
— Ellen Page (@EllenPage) January 1, 2018
Time's up on silence. Time's up on waiting. Time's up on tolerating discrimination, harassment and abuse. #TimesUp Sign the solidarity letter & donate to the @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund: https://t.co/eTwKtOboIl pic.twitter.com/q8aok1HTGg
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 1, 2018
The organization’s initiatives include a legal defense fund aimed at empowering lower-income women to report sexual misconduct, legislation aimed at penalizing companies that tolerate sexual harassment, initiatives focused on achieving equal pay for women in Hollywood, and an awareness-raising campaign that asks women walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes to wear black in solidarity and speak out against gender inequality.
“This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment,” Eva Longoria told The New York Times. “For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour. This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That’s not what this moment is about.”
The campaign was kicked off with a powerful pledge of support to working-class women in an open letter signed by hundreds of women in the entertainment industry, which ran as a full-page ad in The New York Times, and in La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper.
“The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly,” the letter reads.
Major donors to the legal defense fund include Meryl Streepm J.J. Abrams and Steven Spielberg, but plenty of non-celebs have also been donating through GoFundMe, as evidenced by a screenshot posted to Twitter by America Ferrara.
These donations from all of you are wrecking me . THANK YOU for standing up to say: #TIMESUP – The @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund provides subsidized legal support across industries to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse: https://t.co/bvd371K7Pf pic.twitter.com/WfVR6DJxOX
— America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera) January 1, 2018
“These donations from all of you are wrecking me,” the Ugly Betty star wrote. “Thank you.”
Time’s Up group doesn’t have official leaders, and is instead being run by a network of working groups. One, dubbed 50/50 by 2020, aims to see at least 50% of leadership roles in Hollywood filled by women by 2020. There’s also an LGBT working group focused on ensuring that queer voices are heard as part of the Time’s Up movement, which includes Waithe.
“No one wants to look back and say they stood at the sidelines,” Waithe told the Times.