As the clock was approaching midnight on Dec. 31, 2017, it wasn’t only counting down the final moments of the year. It was running out the clock on tolerating sexual harassment and misconduct in our society.
According to Mic, on the first day of 2018, “three hundred well-known actresses and women talent agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives” unveiled their “Time’s Up” campaign, an initiative to not only combat rampant sexual assault and harassment in the entertainment industry but in workplaces society at large and for those across the socioeconomic spectrum.
An open letter announcing the movement described it this way:
“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 movement is not fronted by one specific leader, reports Mic, but instead is “being led by a broad coalition of famous Hollywood women,” such as actors America Ferrera, Emma Stone and Kerry Washington, as well as showrunners Shonda Rhimes and Jill Soloway, and will feature “a series of working groups led by women to combat harassment in different areas.”
As for the specifics of the initiative, Mic cites a few of their plans as reported by The New York Times, which includes the following action items:
• A legal defense fund, backed by $13 million in donations, 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.
• Legislation to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims.
• A drive to reach gender parity at studios and talent agencies that has already begun making headway.