Top Hollywood women launch anti-harassment initiative

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Shonda Rhimes

A legal defence fund, backed by $13 million in donations, which will focus on less-privileged working class women fighting sexual misconduct in their workplaces and the fallout which results from reporting it.

Actors Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and powerful TV producer Shonda Rhimes are among hundreds of Hollywood women who have formed an anti-harassment coalition called Time's Up.

The letter kicked off an initiative titled, "Times Up", which features a coalition out "to help survivors of sexual assault and harassment across all industries challenge those responsible for the harm against them and give voice to their experiences".

The fund was announced in an open letter published on Monday as a full-page ad in The New York Times and the Spanish-language newspaper La Opinión.

The initiative comes following the response from 700,000 female farmworkers, who wrote to Time Magazine in November in solidarity with the men and women of Hollywood who had come forward. "This time the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around". The fund will be administrated by National Women's Law Center, a national women's rights legal organization.

Other Time's Up members include the actresses Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone and Kerry Washington.

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Legislation to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims.

'We're finally hearing each other, and seeing each other, and now locking arms in solidarity with each other, and in solidarity for every woman who doesn't feel seen, to be finally heard'.

"It's very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven't cleaned our own house", producer Shonda Rhimes told the Times.

While the group announced itself to the world this week, meetings actually began back in October and have been taking place weekly ever since.

"The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace".

Time's Up is a leaderless initiative created to help women of all industries.


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