If 2017 was the year all the handsy bathrobe-wrapped assholes in Hollywood were publicly outed, then it looks like 2018 is the year where women officially stop having to put up with it. It’s retribution time in Hollywood. 300 actresses, agents, writers, directors, producers, and entertainment executives recently took out an ad in The New York Times announcing an initiative to fight sexual harassment in Hollywood and workplaces nationwide.
The Times published the open letter written by the group, named Time’s Up, on on January 1st. It was also published in Spanish-language newspaper La Opinion. It’s no coincidence that the name of Time’s Up is a clock metaphor; their goal is to make it so that not another second goes by in which women don’t feel equal in their workplaces.
“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.”
You can read the whole letter here, as well as a list of the women who signed it. The list counts women like Amber Tamblyn, Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, Jennifer Lawrence, Taylor Swift, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington, Reese Witherspoon, as well as many less high-profile women. Interestingly, Meryl Streep’s name is on it, while Rose McGowan’s is not.
The goals of Time’s Up include a drive to reach gender parity at Hollywood studios, legislate to punish companies that tolerate harassment, and a request for women to speak out and raise awareness by wearing black at the Golden Globes. They have also set up a defense fund to assist less privileged women (ie. factory workers, agriculture workers, janitors, hotel workers) protect themselves from and report sexual misconduct. Time’s Up already has $13 million in donations to do so. Time’s Up wants to represent everyone – not just famous women.
Of course, they’ve already faced criticism. Time’s Up specified they wanted greater representation of “women of color, immigrant women, and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women.” One Twitter user pointed out that Time’s Up’s mission statement excluded disabled women. America Ferrera said that Time’s Up would be fixing that mistake.
Thank you for this great initiative! Can you please add disabled women to the list of marginalized women most affected? And that is "disabled women" not "women with disabilities." Thank you.
— Dorothy Ellen Palmer (@depalm) January 1, 2018
Thank you @depalm for this correction. Disabled women have not been forgotten by #TIMESUP . #TIMESUP stands for ALL women, including disabled women, and the language should and will reflect that. https://t.co/Vn6kHItABL
— America Ferrera (@AmericaFerrera) January 2, 2018
While another Twitter user inquired if they’d be fighting for just women:
The initiative supports women AND men who have been assaulted. Just so you know!
— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) January 2, 2018
But first they need to deal with the grossness in Hollywood. Shonda Rhimes, who is very closely involved in Time’s Up, told The Times: “It’s very hard for us to speak righteously about the rest of anything if we haven’t cleaned our own house.” Shit, if Shonda is involved, you know Time’s Up means business. Forget that $13 million in defense fund money. Seeing Shonda “Zero Tolerance for Your Goddamn Nonsense” Rhimes walk into your office is more terrifying than one hundred lawyers clutching lawsuits.