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Riding high on the overwhelmingly positive feedback from her Golden Globes speech, Oprah Winfrey is continuing the conversation around sexual misconduct and equal pay for women in Hollywood and beyond.
During a taped interview for the Sunday edition of CBS This Morning, Oprah talked with the famous faces behind the Hollywood-backed "Time's Up" movement about what needs to happen to keep the ball rolling now that the industry is finally paying attention. The discussion led to profound statements and opinions from Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm; Shonda Rhimes, TV creator behind Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal; entertainment attorney Nina Shaw; and actresses America Ferrara, Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, and Tracee Ellis Ross.
"We’re all humans," Portman said of how men ideally should approach their relationships with women. "And I think it’s treating people as fellow humans and—and it’s not because you have a daughter that you respect a woman, it’s not because you have a wife or a sister, it’s because we’re human beings, whether we’re related to a man or not. We deserve the same respect."
Witherspoon, who revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was just 16-years-old, said she believes it's possible for people who have committed sexual harassment to find forgiveness. "I think there’s a lot of room for reconciliation. I think there’s a time to approach people and tell the truth and have them listen thoughtfully and meaningfully and apologize sincerely," she said.
The consortium of women agreed that the issue goes far beyond the entertainment realm, and everyday working women also deserve to be heard. The Time's Up Legal Defense Fund has raised nearly $17 million in legal aid for harassment victims and will "provide subsidized legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace and while in pursuit of their careers."
Kathleen Kennedy said this was a major step in giving a voice to the voiceless. "We have to maintain the momentum of this conversation because they can’t," she said. "It’s not only in what we’re doing with a group like Time’s Up, but it’s in the content we’re creating, the conversations we’re having. We have to continue this work because we do have the spotlight."
Head over to CBS to see the full interview.