Last year’s silence breakers have shown up to be 2018’s equalizers. More than 300 female power players in the entertainment industry, including Selena Gomez, Eva Longoria, and Zoe Saldana, announced a large-scale legal defense fund for women in all industries battling harassment.
Time’s Up is an initiative against workplace sexual harassment brought to you by Hollywood’s leading ladies.
— Eva Longoria Baston (@EvaLongoria) January 1, 2018
Riding on the groundswell that the #MeToo movement built against sexual harassment and assault, some of Hollywood’s most prominent leaders posted a full page ad in the New York Times and La Opinion on Monday, laying out their agenda to end abuse. The letter was addressed to “sisters” of all industries and boldly declared that time has run out on the harassment, marginalization, underrepresentation, and abuse that women of all industries constantly endure.
America Ferrera, Alyssa Milano, Eva Longoria, Gina Rodriguez, and Reese Witherspoon are just a few of the women who’ve signed their names to the cause.
The legal defense fund has already been backed with $13 million that will reportedly be used to aid those in need of legal support.
Since the initial break of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, dozens of women in Hollywood have come forward to call out the male abusers in the industry, and those who have been complicit in aiding their abuse. Still, as another New York Times article on the sexual harassment of female blue collar factory workers in the auto industry points out, these experiences and stories go far beyond women on the big screen. While that is not news to many, especially women, the #MeToo movement has created greater awareness of the pervasive culture of abuse against women that exists in every industry in the country.
Time’s Up recognizes this fact and plans to extend a hand to women who don’t have the same privileges as Hollywood’s elite.
Hundreds of Hollywood’s actresses, directors, and executives signed and tweeted the letter’s powerful message of solidarity.
Our letter of solidarity as a full page in the @nytimes ! #TIMESUP my Dear Sisters, reSisters, perSisters! Stand with women across every industry in saying: #TIMESUP. The @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund provides subsidized legal support across industries! pic.twitter.com/n4U2Rn0EMO
— America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera) January 2, 2018
In a post to her Twitter account, America Ferrera also noted that thousands of others who are not in the industry have also donated money to the cause.
Many underlined the initiative’s mission to raise the voices of all women, particularly women of color, queer women, and Trans women who experience harassment, abuse, and discrimination at a higher rate.
A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on
Some of the fund’s major donors include Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, and Shonda Rhimes. As Variety reports, the effort was brought to life by four female agents from CAA, including Latina magazine founder Christy Haubegger.
Others noted that the fund hopes to lend access to women and men in industries outside of Hollywood.
Time's up on silence. Time's up on waiting. Time's up on tolerating discrimination, harassment and abuse. #TimesUp Sign the solidarity letter & donate to the @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund: https://t.co/eTwKtOboIl pic.twitter.com/q8aok1HTGg
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 1, 2018
According to the group’s fundraiser page, the National Women’s Law Center will oversee funding and distribution of resources such as legal representation to the underprivileged who are “ready to stand up” but face greater obstacles and repercussions in doing so.
Time’s Up has also set their eyes on next week’s Golden Globes, encouraging women and men to wear black on the red carpet. Other efforts to come include a push for gender parity at production studios and legislation that will crack down on companies that accept ongoing harassment.