In its current iteration, the #MeToo movement has shed light on sexual predation in the entertainment industry, but we all know that this toxic culture reaches far beyond Hollywood. What we've seen in recent months is an endemic of a larger societal issue that affects countless women and men of all races, at every level, across many industries. Unfortunately, the populations most vulnerable to this kind of abuse are frequently the least empowered to speak out about their victimization. In acknowledgment of this skewed dynamic, hundreds of women in Hollywood have banded together to launch "Time's Up" in order to turn the spotlight on everyday women who experience sexual harassment and abuse in their workplaces.

On Monday, the all-women coalition of 300 prominent actors, agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives, released an open letter outlining their strategy to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide including:

  • A legal defense fund, for which $13 million in donations have already been raised, to help less privileged women (janitors, nurses and workers at farms, factories, restaurants and hotels, etc,) protect themselves from sexual misconduct and retaliation.
  • Lobbying for legislation that discourages the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims and penalizes companies that tolerate persistent harassment.
  • Continued drive for equal pay between men and women at studios and talent agencies. 
  • Golden Globes red carpet campaign encouraging celebrities on the red carpet to wear black and speak out to raise awareness.

The movement was initially spurred by a letter from the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (National Farmworker Women's Alliance) which expressed gratitude for the Me Too Movement and outlined similar experiences among farmer worker women across the country who are also "preyed upon, harassed, and exploited by those who abuse their power" against women whose economic and physical security are dependent on them.

After releasing a full-page ad in The New York Times and the La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper, high powered members of the Time's Up coalition began pledging individual statements of support on social media.

Film Director, Ava DuVernay had this to say:

Actress, America Ferrera posted her support as donations for the movement poured in.

Civic leader Valerie Jarrett openly applauded the work. 

Creator and television producer Shonda Rhimes made it clear that enough is enough.

A new tide has turned. The Time's Up initiative is providing both moral and financial support as they work to dismantle a culture of systemic sexism, misogyny, and sexual harassment in the workplace.