When the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations became widespread public knowledge last October, the impact it had in Hollywood was massive.
A seemingly endless list of actresses — joined by some men, such as Terry Crews, James Van Der Beek, and Michael Gaston — opened up about their own experiences being sexually harassed and/or assaulted throughout their careers in show business. And in a complete reversal of what has nearly always happened in the past, the accused men, like Kevin Spacey who was fired from numerous projects, had to deal with actual consequences, at least professionally.
Now, many of those in Hollywood who either spoke out about their own experiences or stood in solidarity with others who did are working to help victims in all industries through the Time's Up initiative.
According to its official website, the initiative strives to "partner with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable."
A panel about Time's Up spoke on Monday at this year's MAKERS Conference to discuss the project's goals.
This is vital work, as research has shown that women, especially women of color, in lower-paying industries are targeted for harassment and assault at much higher rates than those in higher-paying fields. Women employed in the food service and retail industries experience the highest rates of harassment, more than triple what women who work in finance and insurance do.
Time's Up was kickstarted by 300 women in Hollywood — including actresses, agents, writers, directors, etc. — after the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (the National Farmworkers Women's Alliance) wrote a public letter expressing solidarity for those who had spoken up following the Weinstein reports.
At Monday's panel, Time's Up lawyer Tina Tchen revealed that in just one month, the initiative had raised $20 million from 22,000 donors.
"We have had over 1,000 requests for help in a month, so the need is clearly there from all industries — farmworkers, hotel workers, steelworkers," said Tchen.
If you'd like to help this crucial work, you can donate to the official Time's Up GoFundMe campaign.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson