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Hollywood launches anti-harassment group

More than 300 actresses, writers and directors have given their backing to an initiative to help fight sexual harassment in Hollywood and other workplaces.

Shonda Rhimes

The project, dubbed Time’s Up, was announced via an open letter in the New York Times and is described as a “unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere.”

The campaign has so far raised US$13.7m of a US$15m goal for a legal fund that will provide subsidised legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or abuse in the workplace.

The letter calls for “a significant increase” of women in positions of leadership and power across industries, including greater representation from women of colour, immigrant women and lesbian, bisexual and transgender women.

Among those supporting the initiative are stars of shows including Game of Thrones, Big Little Lies, Broad City, Will & Grace, Westworld and How to Get Away With Murder.

It comes in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, which saw severe allegations made against the movie mogul by multiple women that led to his sacking from The Weinstein Company.

Eva Longoria

Actors including Kevin Spacey and Ed Westwick, comedian Louis CK and executives such as Amazon’s Roy Price and Disney/Pixar’s John Lassiter have all since faced accusations of their own.

“We want all survivors of sexual harassment, everywhere, to be heard, to be believed, and to know that accountability is possible. We also want all victims and survivors to be able to access justice and support for the wrongdoing they have endured,” read the Time’s Up letter.

“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.

“We remain committed to holding our own workplaces accountable, pushing for swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone, and telling women’s stories through our eyes and voices with the goal of shifting our society’s perception and treatment of women,” the letter adds.

Those to have signed the letter include Natalie Portman, Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Eva Longoria, Salma Hayek, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Goldie Hawn, Halle Berry, Octavia Spencer and Jenifer Lopez.

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