LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Three hundred prominent actresses and female Hollywood insiders have created a formal initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in both the entertainment industry and Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide.
Coined “Time’s Up,” the effort involves stars such as Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, along with agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment company executives. The effort was announced in advertisements in Monday’s New York Times and in the Spanish-language La Opinion newspaper.
The women are calling for people to wear black on the red carpet at the upcoming Golden Globes Awards, to speak out and raise awareness.
“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 letter said.
With big donations from the likes of Oprah, Steven Speilberg, Jennifer Aniston and thousands of non-celebrities, nearly $14 million has already been collected for a legal defense fund to help less privileged women in the United States, workers at nursing homes, schools, farms, factories, restaurants and hotels, protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it, according to the advertisement.
“Time’s Up” is also calling for new laws to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims.
In Hollywood, the group seeks gender parity at studios and talent agencies, and in the ad they claim to have already begun to make headway.
Monday’s open letter was signed by hundreds of women in show business, many of them described by The Times as Hollywood A-listers.
The Times reported that Hollywood stars Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Washington and Witherspoon were behind the group, as were showrunner Jill Soloway, Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal Pictures, and power lawyers Nina L. Shaw and Tina Tchen, who served as Michelle Obama’s chief of staff.
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