More than 300 actresses, directors, producers, writers, and executives have launched a new initiative designed to fight back against systemic sexual assault and harassment in the entertainment industry and beyond. Time's Up, announced Monday with full-page ads in the New York Times and La Opinión, was formed in the wake of last October's Times report on disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein's history of harassment settlements.
"Harassment too often persists because perpetrators and employers never face any consequences," the Time's Up letter of solidarity reads. "This is often because survivors, particularly those working in low-wage industries, don't have the resources to fight back. As a first step towards helping women and men across the country seek justice, the signatories of this letter will be seeding a legal fund to help survivors of sexual assault and harassment across all industries challenge those responsible for the harm against them and give voice to their experiences."
Among the women behind Time's Up are Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington, Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoria, Amber Tamblyn, America Ferrera, Rashida Jones, and Michelle Obama's former chief of staff Tina Tchen.
"For years, we've sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour," Longoria said Monday. "This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That's not what this moment is about."
Sunday, stars will wear black to the Golden Globes ceremony in Los Angeles. Time's Up is also hoping to inspire stars to use their red carpet moments to speak out about the new initiative, and to condemn inequality in the industry.
The Time's Up initiative also includes a legal defense fund for underprivileged women in other industries, currently backed by more than $13 million in donations, as well as a push for legislation that will hit companies with penalties for tolerance of "persistent harassment." The penalties are also designed to inspire companies to stop using non-disclosure agreements as a tool to manipulate alleged assault and harassment victims into silence.
For info on how to get involved with Time's Up, and to add your name to the solidarity letter, click here.