Hollywood women A-listers and actors launched an initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in the film industry, months after Harvey Weinstein’s alleged sexual transgressions came to light.
- The new initiative, called Time’s Up, is being backed by prominent Hollywood women, including Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie Jennifer Aniston, Ashley Judd, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington and hundreds of others, according to media reports.
- The initiative was formally unveiled in a story by The New York Times, and its mission was laid out in an open letter signed by hundreds of women in the show business. It will include a legal defence fund for victims across different industries, backed by USD 13 million in donations, and will advocate for legislation combating workplace harassment.
- Donors for the legal defence funds include Katie McGrath and JJ Abrams, Jennifer Aniston, Meryl Streep, Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation. The initiative also requested women actors to wear black on the red carpet of the upcoming Golden Globes Awards. “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 movement also launched the Commission on Eliminating Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace in mid-December. Led by Anita Hill, the commission seeks to create safe and more equitable work environments. Producer Harvey Weinstein became synonymous with sexual harassment after the New York Times exposed his history of predatory behaviour against women in October last year.
The scandal had a domino effect in Hollywood with many powerful men such as Brett Ratner, James Toback, Kevin Spacey and Jeremy Piven facing similar career-ending accusations.