2018 is starting out on a powerful note.
On Monday morning, 300 prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executive formed an initiative in response to sexual harassment across the film industry, as well as blue-collar workplaces nationwide. Called Time's Up, the initiative kicked off with an open letter posted on TimesUpNow.com, which was also printed as a full page ad in the New York Times and La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper.
Among the women to sign the letter are Selena Gomez, Dakota Johnson, Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria, Shonda Rhimes, Ashley Judd, and America Ferrera.
"Dear sisters," the letter begins. "We write on behalf of over 300 woman who work in film, television and theater. A little more than two months ago, courageous individuals revealed the dark truth of ongoing sexual harassment and assault by powerful people in the entertainment industry. At one of our most difficult and vulnerable moments, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (the National Farmworker Women's Alliance) sent us a powerful and compassionate message of solidarity of which we are deeply grateful.
"To the members of Alianza and farmworker women across the country, we see you, we thank you, and we acknowledge the heavy weight of our common experience of being preyed upon, harassed, and exploited by those who abuse their power and threaten our physical and economic security. We have similarly suppressed the violence and demeaning harassment for fear that we will be attacked and ruined in the process of speaking out. We share your feelings of anger and shame. We harbor fear that no one will believe us, that we will look weak or that we will be dismissed; and we are terrified that we will be fired or never hired again in retaliation."
The initiative is also behind the move for women and men alike to wear black on the Golden Globes red carpet next week. "For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour,” 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.”
Other initiatives of Time's Up include a legal defense fund for less-privileged women who have been sexually harassed in the workforce, legislation to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and a continued push for gender parity at studios.
"I Will Not Be Silent": Hollywood's Biggest Names Pledge to Speak Their Minds