Hollywood women launch gender equality campaign

The campaign is intended to eradicate the abuse of power, shift leadership imbalances, and promote equality in the workplace.

Women leaders in the entertainment industry have launched a new workplace equality campaign, called “Time’s Up”.

A key aspect of the campaign is the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which is intended to help individuals who experience sexual misconduct including assault, abuse or harassment find legal representation. The fund will enable individuals to come forward without fear of legal, career or financial retaliation and work toward a culture free from sexual harassment.

Time’s Up reports that it has already raised more than US$13 million from over 200 donors for the Legal Defense Fund, to help to defray costs for lawyers and communications professionals from across the country to provide assistance to those who experience sexual harassment. 

Founding donors include Hollywood A-listers such as Jennifer Aniston, Shonda Rhimes, Meryl Streep, and Reese Witherspoon.

"Every person should get to work in an environment free from abuse, assault and discrimination. It's well past time to change the culture of the environment where most of us spend the majority of our day -- the work place," said producer Rhimes, who is known for television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal.

In mid-December, Time’s Up also announced the formation of a Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace. The Commission intends to lead the entertainment industry toward alignment in achieving safer, fairer, more equitable and accountable workplaces.

"Receiving unanimous support from the entertainment industry's leaders to form and fund the Commission is an important first step in tackling the broad culture of abuse and power disparity," said Kathleen Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm, who helped to form the Commission.

“We all know that safe and inclusive work environments result in stronger and more successful businesses,” she added.

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