Powerful Hollywood women are starting off 2018 in style: By kicking down the door that protects sexual harassers of every stripe. In a front page story of The New York Times, actresses — including Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, America Ferrera, and Reese Witherspoon, to name a few — announced that 2018 was officially the year they’d devote themselves to curbing systemic sexual harassment industry-wide.
The powerful cover story features photos of famous, award-winning, and diverse women in Hollywood who have a message for abusers: #TimesUp.
A #TimesUp Twitter account was launched early on the day, and it’s retweeted dozens of female celebrities speaking up
Brie Larson, Tracee Ellis-Ross, and Ava DuVernay are just a few of the voices chiming in. The “plan,” per se, to tackle harassment is still under development and will shift and change as need be, but the message of solidarity is intersectional, uniform, and comes with the promise of legal protection for survivors:
I stand with ALL WOMEN across every industry to say #TIMESUP on abuse, harassment, marginalization and underrepresentation. Join me! Sign the statement of solidarity & donate to the @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund: https://t.co/7FofMhTaUJ pic.twitter.com/vEB3jYCRgD— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) January 1, 2018
#TIMESUP on abuse, harassment, & assault. #TIMESUP on oppression & marginalization. #TIMESUP on misrepresentation & underrepresentation. Sign the solidarity letter & donate to the @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund: https://t.co/bAZkoLV9oy pic.twitter.com/ZP9q0f761j— Tracee Ellis Ross (@TraceeEllisRoss) January 1, 2018
I signed this letter of solidarity 2 stand with women across every industry: #TIMESUP. The @TIMESUPNOW Legal Defense Fund provides subsidized legal support across industries 2 those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace. #DueProcess pic.twitter.com/NyTN7iKwuf— Maggie Gyllenhaal (@mgyllenhaal) January 1, 2018
It’s a new year and the shelf life of shame, silence, and fear just expired. #TimesUp on inequality.#TimesUp on abuse.#TimesUp on discrimination.— Felicity Huffman (@FelicityHuffman) January 1, 2018
We want the golden rule to apply to everyone. “Do unto others...” #TimesUpNow pic.twitter.com/qu5ld5eIfN
As director DuVernay’s post mentions, this is *not* a drill.
We stand in solidarity with Alianza Nacional de Campesinas and women across every industry to combat abuse, harassment, marginalization, and underrepresentation. The $13m @TIMESUPNW Legal Defense Fund is just the beginning. This is not a drill. #TIMESUP https://t.co/a0qtkachdJ pic.twitter.com/B5XGy37FCv— Ava DuVernay (@ava) January 1, 2018
#TimesUp on not just sexual harassment, but abuse, marginalization, and underrepresentation in Hollywood as well.
The #TimesUp website also connects you to the movement’s GoFundMe page, where you can donate to their legal defense fund, which will “provide subsidized legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace and while in pursuit of their careers. The Fund will ultimately be housed at and administrated by the National Women’s Law Center, an established, national women’s rights legal organization.”
The campaign is looking for $15 million. At the time of publish, it was just shy of $14 million after half a day.
It’s inspiring to watch the #MeToo movement makes the jump to Hollywood, and energizing to those exhausted by trying to make their voices heard. Seeing powerful women stand up and call out inequalities in race, gender identity, sexual orientation, and more — it’s invigorating. More than that, though, it’s a call to arms.
The current generation of Hollywood A-listers is linking arms, standing together, and inviting the next generation of producers, directors, writers, and stars to join them in a safer and more equal environment than they’ve ever experienced. This is just the beginning of Hollywood’s #TimesUp movement. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds at the 2018 Golden Globes, at the Academy Awards, and throughout the rest of the year — heck, for the rest of time.