In the wake of the sexual harassment and assault allegations that rippled throughout the entertainment, media, and political worlds, 300 prominent women in show business have created an initiative to fight systematic harassment in Hollywood and blue-collar workplaces.

The initiative, called Time's Up, was announced Monday with an open letter signed by hundreds of women who all pledged to support working-class women. Participants include A-list actresses like Ashley Judd, Kerry Washington, and Reese Witherspoon, along with lawyers, showrunners, agents, and chairwomen of prominent entertainment companies.

"The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks, and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time's up on this impenetrable monopoly," the letter says.

Time's Up includes a legal defense fund, made up of $13 million in donations, to help less privileged women fight sexual misconduct. Its also working on legislation that addresses the use of nondisclosure agreements and how they are often used to silence victims of sexual harassment. What's more, the legislation would penalize companies that tolerate sexual harassment.

Time's Up also aims to establish gender parity at talent agencies and studios and has urged women walking the red carpet at the Golden Globes on Sunday to raise awareness by wearing black and discussing gender inequality.  

"For years, we've sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour," actress Eva Longoria told The New York Times. "This time, the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around. That's not what this moment is about."

Published on: Jan 2, 2018