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Hollywood Women Launch Campaign Against Sexual Harassment


Three hundred prominent Hollywood women have launched an initiative to help fight systemic sexual harassment in the film industry and other workplaces.

The campaign, called Time's Up, comes after a series of sexual discrimination, harassment, and assault cases in the entertainment industry came to light over the last two months.

The initiative was announced through a full-page advertisement published in the New York Times Monday, and it's mission was laid out in an open letter signed by hundreds of women in the show business.

The highlight of the effort is a Legal Defense Fund to provide financial and legal support for both female and male victims of sexual harassment at work.

The project is aimed primarily to help women in blue-collar industries who are unable to meet the payments to defend themselves. Most of its $15 million target has already been raised.

In addition to the Legal Defense Fund, Time's Up initiatives cover legislation, corporate policy, hiring practices and aggregating important resources.

It calls for women to wear black to the upcoming Golden Globe Awards as a sign of solidarity with victims of sexual harassment.

The campaign is supported by Hollywood women A-listers and actors including Shonda Rhimes, Cate Blanchett, Reese Witherspoon, Ashley Judd, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington, Jill Soloway and Donna Langley.

In a "solidarity letter" published on its website, the signatories say they "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".

"Earning a living should not come at the cost of anyone's safety, dignity or morale," said Shonda Rhimes, one of the key players of the effort.

The Legal Defense Fund is the second action from the Time's Up community. In mid-December, entertainment industry executives, independent experts and advisers came together to create the Commission on Sexual Harassment and Advancing Equality in the Workplace, chaired by Anita Hill.

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