Hollywood actresses launch Time's Up, to help fight sexual harassment at workplace

Kelvin Reese
January 3, 2018

Time's Up is championed by writer Shonda Rhimes and actresses including Natalie Portman, Ashley Judd, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, America Ferrera, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon, includes a legal defence fund to help working-class women who may not have the financial resources to defend themselves against misconduct.

Over 300 women who work in film, television, and theater have launched a $13 million legal defense fund dedicated to combating sexual harassment and assault in low-wage workplaces.

Speaking to the New York Times, Shona Rhimes said "It's very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven't cleaned our own house".

The women said they are hoping to widen the attention being paid to Hollywood's scourge of sexual harassment and discrimination into a cultural shift. "This time the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around".

The legal fund is just one focus of a wider initiative called Times Up, reportedly started by four female agents at CAA.

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The group are demanding legislation to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements - such as those allegedly used by Weinstein - to cover up abuse.

Several other women who have donated amongst Swift include Jessica Biel, Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston, Stacey Snider, Dana Walden, Regina King, Felicity Huffman, Megan Ellison, Kate Hudson, Viola Davis, Ava DuVernay, Alicia Vikander, Amy Poehler, Olivia Munn, Jessica Chastain, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, among many others. It will be housed and administrated by the National Women's Law Center, and now has more than $13 million in donations.

It has already overseen the creation of a commission, announced in December, that is tasked with creating a blueprint for ending sexual harassment in show business.

While the group announced itself to the world this week, meetings actually began back in October and have been taking place weekly ever since.

Time's Up is a leaderless initiative created to help women of all industries.

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