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Powerful Women in Hollywood Launch Anti-Sexual Harassment Initiative
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Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, and Shonda Rhimes have come together to form the Time’s Up movement. Photos courtesy of E!

Summary: Women in Hollywood have banded together to fight sexual harassment. 

After a bevy of sexual harassment allegations surfaced late last year, several powerful women in Hollywood have come together to combat the problem.

  
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On Monday, the New York Times published a full-page open letter from 300 female actors, agents, writers, directors, executives, and producers who said they were launching a campaign called Time’s Up.

“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 says.

The letter was signed by actresses such as Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, and Kerry Washington. Ashley Judd also signed. She was one of the first people to go on the record that Harvey Weinstein had sexually harassed her, and this disclosure gave others the courage to also come forward, which led to a huge cultural shift.

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In October, the New York Times published a shocking expose about Weinstein and his three decades of predatory behavior in Hollywood. Examples of this included forcing women to watch him masturbate and asking for massages during business meetings. In the Times piece, Judd revealed that early in her career Weinstein had invited her to his hotel room for a breakfast meeting, and he had worn a robe and asked her to watch him shower.

Judd and other high-profile women said that the Time’s Up initiatives will include a legal defense fund to help women in farm jobs and blue-collar positions, drafting legislation to punish companies that tolerate sexual harassment, and push for gender parity in Hollywood companies such as studios and talent agencies.



“It’s very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven’t cleaned our own house,” Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes said to NPR about Time’s Up.

Since October, men and women have come forward to accuse prominent men in all industries of sexual harassment or misconduct. This has resulted in the firings of people like journalist Mark Halperin and Today Show host Matt Lauer; and the resignations of figures such as Senator Al Franken and celebrity chef Mario Batali.

Time’s Up is a leaderless initiative designed to help women of all industries.

“Time’s Up is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere,” Time’s Up’s website said. “From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.”

What do you think of Time’s Up? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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