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Celebrities Launch Time's Up to Stop Workplace Sexual Harassment

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Big names in Hollywood like actresses Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston and producer Shonda Rhimes have come together with over 300 other prominent figures in Hollywood to launch Time’s Up, a movement focused on ending sexual harassment, assault and gender inequality in the workplace.

The initiative is a way for women in entertainment to support working-class women. Time’s Up released a letter of solidarity on Monday, to its “sisters” who have also experienced workplace harassment across the nation, specifically including women farmworkers. The National Farmworker Women’s Alliance had previously sent a solidarity letter to women in the entertainment industry during the #MeToo movement.

Time’s Up’s stated that women in entertainment would stand for women in other workforces that don’t have the platform they have to share their voices.

We also recognize our privilege and the fact that we have access to enormous platforms to amplify our voices. Both of which have drawn and driven widespread attention to the existence of this problem in our industry that farmworker women and countless individuals employed in other industries have not been afforded.

In its letter, Time’s Up stated the group especially wants to give a voice and power to women in “low-wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation.”

The initiative includes a legal defense fund with over $14 million in donations so far. Hollywood actresses—including Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway and Taylor Swift—producers and talent agencies are among those who have donated.

The fund will be used to help women and men in agriculture, blue-collar workers and other employees who cannot afford legal support. The National Women’s Law Center will administer the fund.

Rhimes told The National Women’s Law Center:

Earning a living should not come at the cost of anyone’s safety, dignity or morale. Every person should get to work in an environment free from abuse, assault and discrimination. It’s well past time to change the culture of the environment where most of us spend the majority of our day — the work place. 51 percent of our population is female, over 30 percent of our population is of color. Those are important, vital, economically powerfully voices that need to be heard at every level.

Time’s Up is also behind the push for those attending the Golden Globes to wear black as a way to raise awareness of workplace harassment and stand in solidarity with those who have been victimized.

Header images via Facebook.

Originally published: January 3, 2018
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