A group of 300 powerful entertainment industry women have banded together to form an anti-sexual harassment initiative, aimed at protecting not only women in their industry, but in workplaces whose employees don’t dominate the trade publications.
The initiative is called Time’s Up, launched Monday with a website, an open letter, and a bold mission statement: “The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.” According to the New York Times , their immediate actions include a legal defense fund (backed by initial donations of $13 million) to “help less privileged women — like janitors, nurses and workers at farms, factories, restaurants and hotels — protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it”; a push for legislation penalizing companies that tolerate persistent harassment; the removal of non-disclosure agreements as a tool for silencing victims and witnesses; and an overall resolution to reach gender parity at talent agencies and in executive positions. The group is also behind the previously-announced push for women walking red carpets to wear black and speak out against harassment in the industry.
The group’s members include actors Elizabeth Banks, Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Jessica Chastain, Laverne Cox, Penelope Cruz, America Ferrera, Anne Hathaway, Taraji P. Henson, Anjelica Huston, Scarlett Johansson, Rashida Jones, Ashley Judd, Brie Larson, Eva Longoria, Janelle Monae, Julianne Moore, Natalie Portman, Margot Robbie, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, Emma Watson, Evan Rachel Wood, and Reese Witherspoon; directors Ava DuVernay, Greta Gerwig, and Dee Rees; producer Kathleen Kennedy; writer Roxane Gay; showrunners Shonda Rimes and Jill Soloway; feminist icon Gloria Steinem; and many, many more.
Read their full open letter here.