Hollywood’s Most Powerful Women Launch Campaign to Stand-Up Against Sexual Harassment

Hollywood’s Most Powerful Women Launch Campaign to Stand-Up Against Sexual Harassment

Words Tori West

2017 was the year women fought back, and in 2018, we’re still fighting.

Driven to correct the power imbalance within ‘blue-collar’ working environments, 300 prominent actors, female agents, writers, directions, entertainment execs and producers have come together to fight against sexual harassment in Hollywood.

Time’s Up pledges to support both female and male victims of sexual harassment in the workplace and has been signed by hundreds of women in show business. “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 says.

The initiative includes:

A legal defence fund, backed by $13 million in donations, to help less privileged women — such as janitors, nurses and workers at farms, factories, restaurants and hotels — protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it.

Legislation to penalise companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims.

A drive to reach gender parity at studios and talent agencies that have already begun making headway.

A request that women that walk the red carpet at the Golden Globes speak out and raise awareness by wearing black.

Initiative members include Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone and Reese Witherspoon and Maria Eitel, the co-chairwoman of the Nike Foundation.

“People were moved so viscerally,” said Eitel, who helps moderate Time’s Up meetings. “They didn’t come together because they wanted to whine or complain, or tell a story or bemoan. They came together because they intended to act. There was almost a ferociousness to it, especially in the first meetings.”

At the end of 2017, TIME magazine announced ‘The Silence Breakers’ as their person of the year, honouring the women who spoke up about their own sexual harassment experiences during the #Metoo movement. Between October and December 2017, the hashtag was used on Twitter and Facebook more than six million times.