Hollywood women launch group to tackle harassment in wake of Harvey Weinstein scandal

Three hundred Hollywood women have launched a new initiative to tackle the sexual harassment problems revealed by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Emma Stone, Shonda Rhimes, America Ferrera, Kerry Washington, Jill Soloway and Natalie Portman are among the actresses, movie executives and writers backing the ‘Time’s Up’ campaign group.

Their initiative includes:

— 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.

The group has placed a full page advert in the The New York Times and La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper, calling for action.

“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,” it read.

Time's Up is trying to ensure that women with less privilege and with less of a public platform are also protected, after months of A-list actresses and famous survivors of sexual violence having their stories shared.

“We fervently urge the media covering disclosures by people in Hollywood to spend equal time on the myriad of experiences of individuals working in less glamourized and valorized trades,” a message posted on the group’s website read. Its legal fund, which is still taking donations, will be housed at the National Women’s Law Center and help victims who “have been silenced for too long”.

The group has also requested that women walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes speak out and raise awareness by wearing black.

"For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women," said Eva Longoria, "with our gowns and colours and our beautiful faces and our glamour. This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That’s not what this moment is about.”

There have been rumours that men are also planning to turn up to the Golden Globes wearing black in solidarity - a frankly unimpressive gesture given that men traditionally wear black tuxedos to awards shows anyway, and slightly reeks of men doing the bare minimum and trying to be thanked.


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