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time's up campaign

Women in Hollywood launch campaign to fight sexual harassment

Over 300 actors, producers, directors, agents and more are behind the Time’s Up campaign

2017 was the year the powerful predators and abusers in Hollywood were unceremoniously and justly exposed. 2018 sees the creation of a new campaign to continue fighting against the poisonous culture of silence and system of sexual abuse in the film industry and beyond. A full page ad in the New York Times announced the Time’s Up program, made up of over 300 women working as actors, directors, agents, writers, producers and more.

The open letter is signed by the likes of Shonda Rhimes, Janelle Monae, Eva Longoria, Rashida Jones and Ashley Judd, and it describes the initiative as a “unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere”. It has already has already raised more than $13m (£9.6m) of a $15m target.

On its website, the campaign details that the “struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard” should be challenged: “Time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly.” The site also demands that the industry recognises the need to put more women in positions of power, with equal pay. Time’s Up follows on from the powerful #metoo movement and the swathes of brave voices that spoke out in 2017 against powerful abusers like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.

Time’s Up relates that many are unable to pursue their abusers because of power structures and financial issues. The initiative includes a $13m legal defense fund for people particularly with little financial backing to access and challenge sexual misconduct. The group will also focus on campaigning against non disclosure agreements (which can silence accusers) and for legislation that targets companies which continually do not keep staff safe from harassment.

A call to action asks those attending the Golden Globes to wear black in solidarity.

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

“It’s very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven’t cleaned our own house,” Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of Grey's Anatomy and How To Get Away With Murder, added. “If this group of women can’t fight for a model for other women who don’t have as much power and privilege, then who can?”

As the Guardian reports, Time’s Up is a decentralised operation with no direct hierachy, made up entirely of working groups. They will connect with 50/50 by 2020, a group that focuses on equal representation in American boardrooms.

Find out more about the initiative here.