When the sexual assault allegations in Hollywood first emerged, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance) sent a powerful letter of solidarity to women in Hollywood. It began:
We write on behalf of the approximately 700,000 women who work in the agricultural fields and packing sheds across the United States. For the past several weeks we have watched and listened with sadness as we have learned of the actors, models and other individuals who have come forward to speak out about the gender based violence they’ve experienced at the hands of bosses, coworkers and other powerful people in the entertainment industry. We wish that we could say we’re shocked to learn that this is such a pervasive problem in your industry. Sadly, we’re not surprised because it’s a reality we know far too well.
Now, the women of Hollywood are finally responding.
This week, 300 women in Hollywood — including heavyweights such as writer Shonda Rhimes and actresses Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrara, Emma Stone and Eva Longoria — took out a full page ad in the New York Times announcing “Time’s Up,” an initiative to combat sexual harassment in the workplace across several different industries, especially those with low power such as farmworkers, servers, janitors, etc.
Time’s Up, which does not have a leader and is instead made up of different initiatives, seeks to combat structural sexual harassment in many ways including a legal defense fund to subsidize legal fees for “women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace.”
$13 million of the targeted $15 million has already been funded by major donors like Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Meryl Streep, Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw.
According to CNN, major Hollywood agencies like ICM Partners, William Morris Endeavor, United Talent Agency and Creative Artists Agency have each donated $1 million or more.
Furthermore, a GoFundMe page has been set up for contributions.
But that’s not all it’s doing…