On October 5 of this past year, a revolution in Hollywood began with the accusation of sexual assault towards Harvey Weinstein. From there, a domino effect ensued. Many celebrated and powerful men in the entertainment industry, such as Matt Lauer, Ed Westwick, and many others were quickly faced with allegations similar to Harvey Weinstein. As a result, by the end of the year both men and women in Hollywood banded together in solidarity and created the #MeToo movement, a precursor to the Time’s Up movement. In December, Time magazine revealed the “Silence Breakers” as the People of the Year bringing even more attention and light to the issue of sexual assault and harassment.
Then on January 1, 2018 the Time’s Up movement began. The movement began with an Instagram post stating simply that, “Time’s up on silence. Time’s up on waiting. Time’s up on tolerating discrimination, harassment, and abuse.” This first post was then followed by the movement’s letter of solidarity. This letter recognized all minority groups of women and called for a significant increase of women in positions of leadership, equal representation and opportunities, and more recognition for all groups of women. It also urged the media to continue to cover sexual assault and tell the stories of victims. Signed by some very notable women including Kendall Jenner, Laverne Cox, Meryl Streep, Oprah, Emma Watson, and many others, this letter serves as a mission statement and the movement’s answer to why now.
One of the most crucial points of the Time’s Up movement was also explained in the letter, the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund. The goal of the legal fund is to help survivors bring their assailants to justice who may not otherwise been able to for financial reasons. Since being posted, the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund has raised $16,556,486 and received widespread support. Noteworthy donors include Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg’s Wunderkinder Foundation who donated the highest donation of $2,000,000, Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Taylor Swift, and an anonymous donor who donated $1,000,000.
Even more recently, the women of the movement stepped out at the Golden Globes and made waves in more ways than one. Laura Dern, Amy Poehler, Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Emma Stone, and Shailene Woodley all took activists from various fields to the annual award show in an attempt to raise awareness for the cause.The women of Time’s Up also all wore black to the show in solidarity with those who had been silenced through abuse, discrimination, and harassment and continued to promote the cause by using #WhyWeWearBlack throughout their social media platforms. Many of the female winners also took the time during their acceptance speeches to share the story of the movement. Most publicized was Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech of the Cecil B. Demille award that rang a powerful tone and spread the message of Time’s Up.
In just over 2 weeks, the Time’s Up movement has made decades worth of strides towards bringing awareness to sexual harassment. In an age where victims of sexual assault have been continuously been silenced, Times Up is more important now than ever. The movement has just only begun and is spreading the word about sexual assault and harassment every day.
For more information on Time’s Up or resources on what to do when faced with sexual assault, look to www.timesupnow.com