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Time’s Up for Sexual Misconduct in the Workplace

“This is not the time to be quiet,” actress and activist Reese Witherspoon told the New York Times. Following the wave of men and women stepping forward in the entertainment industry to expose the widespread sexual harassment problem, actresses are utilizing their platforms to spread the message that when it comes to sexual misconduct in the workplace, Time’s Up.

Actresses, writers, directors, producers, agents, and other female entertainment personnel have banded together to launch the Time’s Up campaign devoted to combating workplace sexual harassment. The campaign is backed by hundreds of actresses, including Witherspoon, Emma Stone, Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, and Eva Longoria, and has already amassed over $13 million people to support the initiative. The money raised will be used to fund legal support for victims of sexual harassment at work.

In a solidarity letter written on behalf of the women working in the film, television, and entertainment industries, Time’s Up pledged their mission to challenge the inequality and injustice that prevails in the workplace, particularly those employed in lower-income fields.

“To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss, every housekeeper who has tried to escape an assaultive guest, every janitor trapped nightly in a building with a predatory supervisor, every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile, every garment and factory worker forced to trade sexual acts for more shifts, every domestic worker or home health aide forcibly touched by a client, every immigrant woman silenced by the threat of her undocumented status being reported in retaliation for speaking up and to women in every industry who are subjected to indignities and offensive behavior that they are expected to tolerate in order to make a living: We stand with you. We support you,” the letter states.

In response to the groundbreaking #MeToo and #AskHerMore movements, the women of Hollywood who plan to attend the Golden Globes have announced that they will be wearing black gowns to the event to show their support for the victims of sexual harassment and assault. The motion had been previously dismissed as a “toothless gimmick, one that would do little to advance the #MeToo movement,” according to the New York Times.

The call to wear black gowns is part of the Time’s Up initiative, and in spite of the criticism, the organization continues to stand vehementantly behind the plan. “This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment,” Longoria told The New York Times. “For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour. This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That’s not what this moment is about.”

The Time’s Up website refers to itself as a “unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere.” The powerful women behind the movement are using their fame to further their agenda and magnify the voices of women everywhere. “We just reached this conclusion in our heads that, damn it, everything is possible,” says Time’s Up member and writer of Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder Shonda Rimes.

Time’s Up is an important platform that will hopefully increase the awareness of sexual harassment even more.

Featured Image by jdeeringdavis on Flickr

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