Timely: A New Anti-Sexual Harassment Initiative’s Fast Rise

Typically, the outfits worn by Hollywood stars attending at the Golden Globes are dramatic, bright, colorful, and occasionally over the top. However, the outfits seen on the red carpet at the 75th Golden Globes, held January 7, were overwhelmingly monochromatic. Hundreds of actors intentionally wore black suits and gowns to show their solidarity for the Time’s Up movement. Time’s Up, an organic sequel to the #MeToo movement, is an initiative organized by influential women in the entertainment industry to combat sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace.

Time’s Up officially launched on January 1, 2018, when the organization published a full-page letter in both the New York Times and La Opinion revealing their approach to addressing sexual harassment on a broader scale. The over three hundred women in Hollywood that signed the letter promised “to hold our workplace accountable, pushing for swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone.” One of the most vocal members and organizers of the initiative is Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal, and How to Get Away with Murder. Rhimes explained, “If this group of women can’t fight for a model for other women who don’t have as much power and privilege, then who can?”

While the majority of the organizers are celebrities, the focus and mission of the movement is not only on the entertainment industry. In fact, the intention of Time’s Up is to effect change in leadership and pay inequality across all industries, cultures, races, and classes. One of their most successful initiatives is the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which has already raised over $18 million. This includes the $1.5 million actor Mark Wahlberg is reportedly donating after news broke last week that he was paid that much to reshoot scenes in a film while his costar Michelle Williams was paid less than $1,000. Incidentally, it was reported today that three actors who worked on the latest Woody Allen film will donate their salaries to protest sexual abuse allegations against the director. According to their website, the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund will be housed and administered by the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, DC, and will provide support to women who wish to report assault or harassment but face legal hurdles to do so.

Time’s Up and its organizers are also focused on making systemic changes. The movement is working on creating legislation to better penalize sexual misconduct and “hitting the use of nondisclosure agreements, which can be used to silence the victims.” They will also focus their efforts on reaching gender parity in regards to both pay and leadership. A sentence in their Letter of Solidarity perfectly summarizes their mission:

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.

To support the Time’s Up movement, please go here: www.TimesUpNow.com.