Fascinating New Details About The 'Time's Up' Campaign Started By Over 300 Women In Hollywood To Stop Sexual Assault

Photo: Hollywood Life
Time's Up

The movement is dedicated to confronting people who abuse their power.

In 2017, society saw many powerful men fall from grace due to sexual assault and harassment allegations. Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey all lost their jobs because they abused their power. Now, in 2018, the women who they hurt are fighting back and starting a movement to end sexual assault and harassment with a new campaign. 

Over 300 prominent actresses, female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives have come together to form the Time's Up campaign. 

The movement will include a legal defense fund — which is backed by $13 million dollars in donations — that will aid less privileged women to protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the usual fallout that happens when it does get reported. 

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Time's Up's other initiatives include fighting for legislation that will penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment. Specifically, companies who use nondisclosure agreements to silence victims from reporting. 

The campaign will also start a drive to reach gender parity at studios and talent agencies. That drive has already been making headway. The women of this movement are also asking other women who are walking the red carpet at the 2018 Golden Globes to speak out and raise awareness by wearing black. 

The campaign was officially announced on Monday with an open letter pledging support to working-class women that was signed by hundreds of women in show business.

Those big names include actresses Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon; the showrunner Jill Soloway; Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal Pictures; the lawyers Nina L. Shaw and Tina Tchen, who served as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff; and Maria Eitel, an expert in corporate responsibility and the co-chairwoman of the Nike Foundation.

“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 reads. 

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Women of the movement also hope to diffuse the criticism of the #MeToo campaign, which some people said overlooked the issues working-class women face daily. In November, an open letter was sent out by 700,000 female farmworkers who showed their support for Hollywood actresses and their fight against abuse. 

The Time's Up campaign is the actresses' response. 

It’s very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven’t cleaned our own house,” said Shonda Rhimes, the executive producer of the television series Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, who's closely participating in the group.

“If this group of women can’t fight for a model for other women who don’t have as much power and privilege, then who can?” Rhimes added.

The meetings for Time's Up began in October and is leaderless, run by volunteers and made up of working groups. One of those groups oversaw the creation of a commission tasked with making a blueprint for ending sexual harassment in show business. Another is pushing entertainment organizations and companies to agree to reach gender parity within their leadership roles within two years. 

Rhimes herself pressed the managing director of ICM Partners, a high-profile talent agency, to meet that goal. 

“We just reached this conclusion in our heads that, damn it, everything is possible,” Rhimes said. “Why shouldn’t it be?”

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Emily Blackwood is an editor at YourTango who covers pop culture, true crime, dating, relationships and everything in between. Every Wednesday at 10:20 p.m. you can ask her any and all questions about self-love, dating, and relationships LIVE on YourTango’s Facebook page. You can follow her on Instagram (@blackw00d) and Twitter (@emztweetz).