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Hollywood women launch anti-harassment initiative


Hollywood women launch anti-harassment initiative

On Monday (Jan 1) , a group of women in the entertainment industry, including A-listers such as Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone and Natalie Portman, announced an initiative called Time's Up, which is aimed at combating sexual harassment, media reports said.

More than 300 women from the US entertainment industry including actors, directors and lawyers have launched a campaign to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace. The initiative, dubbed Time's Up, includes Hollywood stars such as Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon. It comes in the wake of sexual abuse allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein.

The campaign was launched in an open letter as a full-page advert in The New York Times, vowing support for women in less prominent fields of work. 

Among the specific steps it announced, Time's Up has established a legal defence fund that, in just 12 days, has raised $13.4m toward a $15m goal aimed at providing legal aid for women and men who were sexually harassed, assaulted or abused in the workplace. It has vowed to push for legislation to strengthen laws on workplace harassment and discrimination.

The group insists that more women must be brought into positions of power and leadership, while every woman should have equal benefits, opportunities, pay and representation. As for Hollywood, it wants "swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone". 

It called on women to wear black at Sunday's Golden Globes as a statement against gender and racial inequality, and to raise awareness about the group's efforts.

Other prominent women lending their names to the Time's Up cause are actresses America Ferrera, Amy Schumer, Halle Berry, Julianne Moore, Keira Knightley, Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Scarlett Johansson, Susan Sarandon, Uma Thurman and Viola Davis; producer Shonda Rhimes; Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley; feminist activist Gloria Steinem; lawyer and ex-Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel.

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