2017 was a streneous but eye-opening year where women and men revealed Hollywood's dark underbelly that was filled with sexual harassment and misconduct. Now, as we begin a new year, some of the biggest women in the industry have come together to launch Time's Up.
The initiative, which is also a legal defense fund backed by $13 million in donations to help women in need, seeks to tackle sexual harassment claims. The organization was launched by by four female agents at Creative Artists Agency (CAA): Maha Dakhil, Michelle Kydd Lee, Hylda Queally and Christy Haubegger. Other directors, actresses, showrunners and more have since joined the movement, including Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes, Meryl Streep, America Ferrera, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Kerry Washington, Lena Waithe, Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria; Hollywood executives Donna Langely and Katie McGrath; creative plaers Melina Matsoukus, Jill Soloway; lawyers Nina Shaw, Tina Tchen, Anita Hill; and more.
“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,” a letter to The New York Times says. The initiative also plans to team up with “like-minded organizations to fight for workplaces that are committed to equality and safety, and strive to reach the most dynamic business and creative outcomes possible. We are committed to acting strategically, and delivering real impact that changes industries, and ultimately, the world.”
Time's Up is the answer to the #MeToo movement, where women and men bravely opened up about their harrowing incidents with sexual harassment and abuse—many of which came from some of Hollywood's biggest male power players. Last October, Witherspoon came forward to reveal she was also sexually harassed. “This has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, and a lot of situations and a lot of industries are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths," she said during her speech at the Elle Women in Hollywood event.
"I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I find it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings that I’ve been having about anxiety, honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier.” The Time's Up launch is a powerful way to kick off 2018, and we are ready to see the positive changes these women have planned to help other fellow female comrades whose voices are often masked.