Called Time’s Up, the movement was announced on Monday with an impassioned pledge of support to working-class women in an open letter signed by hundreds of women in show business, many of them A-listers.
The letter also ran as a full-page ad in The New York Times, and in La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper.
“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,” the letter says.
The group is one answer to the question of how women in Hollywood would respond to cascading allegations that have upended the careers of powerful men in an industry where the prevalence of sexual predation has yielded the minimizing cliché of the “casting couch,” and where silence has been a condition of employment.
Time’s Up also helps defuse criticism that the spotlight on the #MeToo movement has been dominated by the accusers of high-profile men, while the travails of working-class women have been overlooked.
Noting that the group is leaderless and rather works collectively to help work toward a solution, Time’s Up initiatives include a legal defense fund of nearly $13 million in donations to help less privileged women, a mission to reach gender parity at studios and talent agencies, legislation to penalize companies that tolerate harassment and a call for women walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes to speak out and raise awareness by wearing black.
Some of the Time’s Up members include the actresses Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria Ashley Judd, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington and more. Countless stars appear to have made large donations to Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, including Taylor Swift, Jennifer Aniston and Jessica Chastain.
Time’s Up has also been urging women to wear black at the Golden Globes on Sunday, to use the red carpet to speak out against gender and racial inequality, and to raise awareness about their initiative and the legal fund.
Time’s Up was formed soon after The New York Times reported in early October that the producer Harvey Weinstein had reached multiple settlements with women who had accused him of sexual misconduct.