Hollywood actresses, writers launch project to fight sexual harassment

Violet Powell
January 2, 2018

The campaign also is creating a legal defense fund spearheaded by the non-profit National Women's Law Center and which to date has raised more than $13 million, to offer services to low-income workers facing sexual harassment or any repercussions from reporting it.

Other prominent women lending their names to the Time's Up cause are actresses America Ferrera, Amy Schumer, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman and Viola Davis; producer Shonda Rhimes; Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley; feminist activist Gloria Steinem; lawyer and ex-Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel.

Rhimes told the New York Times.

"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 open letter stated.

The initiative's goals also include promoting legislation to penalise companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to fight against the use of non-disclosure agreements to shield sexual abusers.

As the Times reports, the group is "leaderless, run by volunteers and made up of working groups"-each of which focusing on different areas of the problem or specific populations under threat".

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A request that women walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes wear black to raise awareness for the issue. "This time the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around. That's not what this moment is about".

Donors include Witherspoon, Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg and wife Kate Capshaw, and leading talent agencies that are under pressure to reform their practices in the aftermath of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

The initiative, which is called "Time's Up" was announced on Monday in a full-page advert in the New York Times.

"To the members of Alianza and farmworker women across the country, we see you, we thank you and we acknowledge the heavy weight of our common experience of being preyed upon, harassed and exploited by those who abuse their power and threaten our physical and economic security", Time's Up said.

The women expressed their support for the Hollywood stars speaking out, but said they needed help too.

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