Time’s Up and the Golden Globes

Celebrities are standing up and inflicting change through the Time's Up movement.

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The public has noticed a shift in the inequity of Hollywood industries as more women with a platform, notably celebrities, are using their power to further change through the “Time’s Up” movement.

To kick off 2018, both male and female celebrities took to social media to share about “Time’s Up,” a new organization made with the intent to combat sexual harassment and assault in the workplace while simultaneously supporting victims who have already been affected. Celebrities such as actresses Reese Witherspoon, Rashida Jones, Eva Longoria and many more shared about the initiative and its purpose.

I stand with ALL WOMEN across every industry to say #TimesUp on abuse, harassment, marginalization and underrepresentation,” Witherspoon wrote in an Instagram caption.

The online base for “Time’s Up” stresses their focus on correcting harassment and inequality in the workplace, citing that one in three women (ages 18-34) have been sexually harassed in their workplace, and that white, non-Hispanic women are paid 81 cents on the dollar compared to white, non-Hispanic men. Furthermore, Asian women make 88 cents on the dollar, while Black and Hispanic women only make 65 cents and 59 cents to the white male dollar.

According to the “Time’s Up” website, “‘Time’s Up’ is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live. Powered by women, ‘Time’s Up’ addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential.”

The primary inspiration for the movement arose in a letter published by Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, the National Farmworkers Women’s Alliance that is made up of current and former farmworker women, including women who come from farmworker families.

According to the letter, “Even though [farmworker women] work in very different environments, we share a common experience of being preyed upon by individuals who have the power to hire, fire, blacklist and otherwise threaten our economic, physical and emotional security.

The “Time’s Up” website published their own “Dear Sisters” letter Jan. 1.

“To the members of Alianza and farmworker women across the country, we see you, we thank you, and we acknowledge the heavy weight of our common experience of being preyed upon, harassed, and exploited by those who abuse their power and threaten our physical and economic security,” the letter stated.

The letter not only gave recognition the members of Alianza, but also explained what “Time’s Up” sought to do.

“We seek equal representation, opportunities, benefits and pay for all women workers, not to mention greater representation of women of color, immigrant women, disabled women, and lesbian, bisexual, and transgender women, whose experiences in the workforce are often significantly worse than their white, cisgender, straight peers,” the letter explained.

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Though farmworker women are the only lower-tier job specifically named in the letter, “Time’s Up” has made sure to let their devotion to all careers be known. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, more than one-quarter of sexual harassment charges have been filed within industries that have a large number of service-sector workers. Many of these include low-wage jobs that usually have women as employees. From 2005 to 2015, 41,250 sexual harassment charges have been filed with EEOC. The top three industries to have sexual harassment charges filed are accommodation and food services, retail trade, and manufacturing. Together, they make for 39.39 percent of charges filed.

“We had to speak up and say something for the abuse of power within our industry and every industry that’s coming forward,” Witherspoon said.

This is also addressed in the “Dear Sisters” letter.

“We also want all victims and survivors to be able to access justice and support for the wrongdoing they have endured. We particularly want to lift up the voices, power, and strength of women working in low-wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation,” the letter stated.

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The initiative has also made an impact beyond the internet. Flowing into the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, actors and actresses alike wore black clothing and “Time’s Up” pins to show solidarity with sexual harassment and abuse victims who have recently brought their stories to light against moguls like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. The “Time’s Up” initiative is intended to reach out to women, not just in the United States, but across the world.

I am wearing black to thank and honor all of the brave whistleblowers who came forward, shared their stories of harassment, assault and discrimination. I’m wearing black to, to stand in solidarity with my sisters all over the globe and I’m here to celebrate the rollout of this incredible initiative ‘Time’s Up.’ We want diversity, we want intersectional gender parity, equal pay,” said Debra Messing in an E! News interview.

On the same red carpet where most came dressed in black, a handful of celebrities chose to bring activists as their dates. For example, Meryl Streep chose to make her plus one activist and friend Ai-Jen Poo, who is also the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.

“She and I are so happy to be here in this particular moment,” Streep said to E! News. “I think that people are aware now of a power imbalance and it’s something that leads to abuse. It’s led to abuse in our own industry, and it’s led to abuse across domestic workers’ field of work. It’s in the military, it’s in Congress, it’s everywhere and we want to fix that. We feel sort of emboldened in this particular moment to stand together in a thick black line dividing then from now.”

While celebrities have been the face of the movement, they haven’t been the only ones involved in the creation of “Time’s Up.”

“There are so many leaders not only in our industry, but activists, lawyers, executives,” Longoria said in an Access interview. “There are so many women behind this movement and we’re just trying to amplify the work that they’ve been doing for years.”

Off of the red carpet and into the awards show, Oprah maintained the all-black theme as she accepted the Cecil B. deMille Award presented by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men,” Oprah said in her acceptance speech at the 2018 Golden Globes. “But their time is up. Their time is up.”

Oprah also referenced the #MeToo movement, which was the initial spark that ignited the widespread trail of women coming forward with their stories of sexual abuse and harassment.

“I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women . . . and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘me too’ again,” Oprah said.

The “Time’s Up” movement doesn’t just affect the lives of women in the workplace. In fact, some students at Oak Park High School said they feel more secure in a school environment.

I feel safer because so many women have spoken up to tell their stories, and since men are noticing, I think they will understand they can’t get away with hurting and taking advantage of women as much anymore,” freshman Ava Tribe said.

“Time’s Up” has also launched a legal defense fund. Housed at the National Women’s Law Center, the fund will provide subsidized legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or abuse in the workplace while in pursuit of their careers. It’s supported by donations and has already earned more than $16 million in funds.

A network of lawyers and public relations professionals across the country will work with the Center’s Legal Network for Gender Equity to provide assistance to those ready to stand up. Access to prompt and comprehensive legal and communications help will mean empowerment for these individuals and long term growth for our culture and communities as a whole,” the “Time’s Up” Legal Defense Fund GoFundMe page explains.

Men also have taken notice of the movement and, whether a student or celebrity, have voiced their support.

“I think the movement to provide funds to help pass legislation regarding workplace harassment is a good step forward towards stopping harassment and abuse from going unpunished,” senior Max Francis said.

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Mark Wahlberg recently donated 1.5 million dollars to the defense fund after it was revealed to the public that he was paid 1.5 million dollars for reshoots on the film “All the Money” while his co-star, Michelle Williams, was paid 1,000 dollars, following the recasting of Kevin Spacey. That is less than 1 percent of what Wahlberg was paid.

“I 100 percent support the fight for fair pay and I’m donating the $1.5 million to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund in Michelle Williams’ name,” Wahlberg said in a statement to the press.

Wahlberg’s agency, William Morris Endeavor, also donated to the fund, bringing up the total to $2 million.

“The current conversation is a reminder that those of us in a position of influence have a responsibility to challenge inequities, including the gender wage gap,” WME said in a statement.

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The “Time’s Up” website also includes a list of ways to help and be active in dismantling the systematic abuse that some women and minorities are fighting, listing options like giving to companies and organizations who have equitable leadership and opportunities, aiding harassment victims and listening to those who come forward with their stories of harassment and abuse.

People out there who are feeling silenced by harassment, discrimination, abuse, ‘Time’s Up.’ We see you, we hear you and we will tell your stories,” Witherspoon said.

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