Time's up for Hollywood harassment, say leading actors

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Time's Up also has a legal defense fund to help provide subsidized legal support to women and men who have been sexually harassed, assault or abused in the workplace.

"Harassment too often persists because perpetrators and employers never face any consequences, ' read a 'letter of solidarity" on the group's website.

"To every woman employed in agriculture who has had to fend off unwanted sexual advances from her boss.every waitress grabbed by a customer and expected to take it with a smile".

One of Time's Up major aspects is a legal defense fund for which the organization is now soliciting donations via a GoFundMe.

Time's Up members include actresses Cate Blanchett, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman and Meryl Streep, Universal Pictures chair Donna Langley, feminist writer Gloria Steinem, lawyer and ex-Michelle Obama chief of staff Tina Tchen and Nike Foundation co-chair Maria Eitel.

In a sense, Time's Up is being launched as a companion to the #MeToo movement that grew out of the spontaneous response to revelations about Hollywood's "casting-couch" system of sexual predation and enduring gender-pay disparities.

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Producer and legal defence fund donor Katie McGrath said that many women had realised from early on that they needed to establish what they wanted to achieve, "and what was going to be required in order to shift and pivot from this horror to structural change".

The initiative's goals also include promoting legislation to penalise companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to fight against the use of non-disclosure agreements to shield sexual abusers.

"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.

Along with helping victims, the campaign calls for more women in positions of leadership and power across industries.

The meetings reportedly began in October, shortly after Harvey Weinstein was first accused of sexual assault.

Hollywood women A-listers and actors launched an initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in the film industry, months after Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual transgressions came to light.

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