The time is now for pushing back against sexual harassment in Hollywood, several women in the entertainment industry have shouted loud and proud recently. One of those women, Shonda Rhimes, is leading the charge to combat the devastating issue with a new mobilization effort that was announced on Monday.
Rhimes is part of a group of 300 directors, producers, showrunners, agents and other industry figures who have united for a major initiative, dubbed the “Time’s Up” movement, The New York Times reported. Actresses America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Rashida Jones, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon were also named as leaders with Rhimes. “It’s very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven’t cleaned our own house,” Rhimes said. “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?”
The group is seeking to fight sexual assault and abuses that happen to women in low-income jobs, they said. An open letter published on the “Time’s Up” website, in part, said, “Every immigrant woman silenced by the threat of her undocumented status being reported in retaliation for speaking up and to women in every industry who are subjected to indignities and offensive behavior that they are expected to tolerate in order to make a living: We stand with you. We support you.”
Women in Hollywood have banned together in solidarity to address the assemblage of sex assault allegations that have rocked Hollywood since accusers came forth against Harvey Weinstein in October. Rape, sex crimes of any nature, workplace injustice and inequality will not be tolerated, the group said.
Their effort was set off in part by a November letter from the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, an advocacy group representing hundreds of thousands of women who work in the agriculture sector, that supported Hollywood sex assault survivors. They have started a legal defense fund led by the non-profit National Women’s Law Center, having collected more than $13 million for services to low-income workers who are sexual harassment victims and those facing any consequences for reporting a crime, CBS reported. They want to also push for corporate management diversity and get legal aid for women as well as men to hold suspects accountable.
Time’s Up is also part of the upcoming harassment protest encouraging actors and actresses to don Black at the Golden Globes on January 7.