Time’s Up: Women in Hollywood Create an Action Plan Against Harassment

Few things in 2017 felt as satisfying as watching powerful men face the consequences of their actions for the first time. The #MeToo movement made enormous waves throughout Hollywood, finally shedding light on a problem everyone knew existed but few discussed.

For all its progress, though, the #MeToo movement left a lot of questions unanswered. What’s the next step here? How long will this momentum last? Will this movement enact real change? And, most importantly, when will this movement finally help us, too? Regular women, working-class women, women without power are all still quietly suffering through sexual harassment.

On Monday, the women of Hollywood showed us they were ready to answer those questions and then some.

Over 300 powerful women in Hollywood—including actors, agents, writers, directors and producers—have come together to form an action plan against sexual harassment, not just in entertainment, but in all industries. Time’s Up is Hollywood’s reponse to critizism of the #MeToo movement, which is thought to focus only on powerful men while the struggles of less privileged women had been mostly ignored.

America Ferrera, Eva Longoria, Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon and many more have been working since the Harvey Weinstein allegations came out to create Time’s Up, an initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment through specific actions.

Time’s Up was announced on Monday with an open letter, as well as full-page ad in The New York Times, and in La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper, which expressed a commitment to changing the systems that allow sexual harassment to persist.

The letter was written in part as a response to the open letter signed by over 700,000 women working in agricultural fields who wrote to the women in Hollywood as an act of solidarity. “We believe and stand with you,” wrote the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas.

The Time’s Up letter acknowledged and thanked the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, describing a shared experience but also an understanding of the privilege held by women in Hollywood that most women will never have. The letter stated an intention to use this privilege to benefit women in more vulnerable positions with concrete actions.

One of these actions is creating a legal defense fund of $13 million in donations to help less privileged women protect themselves from harassment.

A push for gender parity at studios and agencies as well as legislation to penalize companies for tolerating sexual harassment are also in the works.

Finally, the group put out a call to wear black on the Golden Globes red carpet on Sunday to raise awareness and speak out. The move was criticized for not going far enough, with some people thinking wearing black to an awards show isn’t doing much to deepen the conversation around harassment. Hopefully, participants will use the opportunity to say more with their words than they do with their dresses.

Eva Longoria called the Golden Globes plan a “moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment.”

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

The initiative is leaderless, made up instead of smaller, more focused groups. One group, for example, worked on the creation of a commission led by Anita Hill to develop a plan for ending harassment in Hollywood. Another group which has already had some success is pushing for gender parity in the leadership of entertainment organizations. Other groups are focused on advocating for LGBTQ people, drafting legislation and running the legal defense fund.

The announcement shows that these women have no intention of wasthing the momentum of the #MeToo movement or letting it pass without enacting lasting change that benefits those of us you won’t find on the red carpet.

Photo Credit: Bruno Chatelin

68 comments

Marie W
Marie W24 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Cindy S
Cindy Sabout a month ago

thanks

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Angeles M
Angeles Mabout a month ago

Bravo!! Thank you

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa Mabout a month ago

Noted.

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JoAnn P
JoAnn P1 months ago

Thank you for this very interesting article.

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Karen Swenson
Karen S1 months ago

@Chrissy R---I swear you are a man--I have never read one positive thing about women coming from you! Who in the HELL says, or even thinks, men politely looking at women, is Sexual Harassment?

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Cindy S
Cindy S1 months ago

thanks
does not matter if a women hardly wears clothes crissie

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Chad A
Chad A2 months ago

Thank you.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R4 months ago

She's barely got her body covered and men are harrassing her if they look??

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