Time's Up: New Hollywood initiative to fight harassment at workplace
Women in Hollywood have hit back at sexual harassment and pay disparity once more. This time, however, they stand fiercer, more united. Over 300 actresses/writers/directors on Monday launched a project, Time's Up, to financially help women in low-wage occupations to fight sexual abuse at workplace. The initiative has found an overwhelming support from celebrities, including Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Reese Witherspoon and Emilia Clarke.
Announced through an NYT advertisement, the project is a response to a letter written to Hollywood actresses by 700,000 American farmwomen in November 2017. It expressed solidarity with all the silence breakers who, in the wake of the Weinstein scandal, exposed the rampant sexual harassment prevalent in Hollywood. However, it also pointed out that not everyone could afford the repercussions of shaming their perpetrators.
A "solidarity letter" published on Time's Up website acknowledges the pervasiveness of the problem and demands an end to every woman's struggle to "break in, rise up the ranks and simply be heard." "Time's up on this impenetrable monopoly," it says. It has been addressed to "every woman who has ever had to fend off sexual advances" at workplace whilst doing her job.
The initiative aims to raise money to provide legal aid to victims of sexual abuse across low-income industries who otherwise can't afford to defend themselves. Of its $15 million target, the project has already raised over $13.6 million in 12 days, thanks to the 3,844 donations made so far. Calling safe workplace every woman's right, it bats for more women in positions of authority.
The Harvey Weinstein expose opened a can of worms last year. Other than toppling several revered careers, it also inspired the #MeToo hashtag, a global movement that brought forward countless stories of sexual abuse. The hashtag was reportedly used on Twitter and Facebook over 6 million times between October-December 2017. Moreover, Time magazine chose the "Silence Breakers" as its "Person of the Year."