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Voices behind Time's Up
January 3rd, 2019
It's been one year since more than 1,000 women in entertainment joined forces to combat workplace sexual misconduct across industries with the formation of Time's Up. Amber Tamblyn, Emma Watson, Shonda Rhimes, Tracee Ellis Ross, Eva Longoria and the founders of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund spoke to CNN about what’s changed in the past year and what’s to come. Listen and read their reflections below.
“There’s an amazing sisterhood that has formed for me and making sure women aren’t alone no matter what industry. (It) has been really eye opening and really unifying and inspiring to just be able to lean upon each other, call each other. I really never had that in Hollywood before, that many friends within the industry that I could talk to, turn to, and now we have this whole army of women willing and ready to help you in every aspect, whether it’s just advice on your career or advice on a #MeToo moment. It’s really been so wonderful to see the sisterhood unite.”
Partner at Buckley Sandler and co-founder of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund
"I think one of the things that we have to be careful of in this current environment is to recognize that there are many forms of abuses of power. There are many forms of sexual harassment and there's not therefore one form of accountability. You know, we need to make sure that we are proportional in our responses to the events that have occurred. There are certainly, you know, serious offenses where your dismissal is the right result. It needs to happen. But we also want to make sure we're not forgetting that and dealing with microaggressions with the every day comments that happen. A lot of those every day occurrences are what leads to very toxic workplace cultures. And if we're going to really create safe workplaces, we need to deal with those as well."
“Personally, I feel Time's Up has helped cultivate a sense of community between women in my industry. People assume female actors all know each other and hang out, but we’re often quite isolated in an industry that can feel like an atomising force rather than a bonding one. Thinking back to the watershed #MeToo moment at the end of 2017, women in the industry were reaching out to each other, sharing experiences, organizing together in a way I hadn’t seen happen before. There was a sincere realization of the power of unity, which is something that women in other industries have of course known for some time!
“Accountability looks like these cases finally going to trial. Accountability looks like not getting a 9-figure golden parachute on your way out the door after a number of sexual harassment complaints. Accountability looks like Terry Crews refusing to be shamed. Also accountability looks like survivors being heard and being believed. Accountability looks like men taking responsibility for changing the damaged culture they have benefited from. Accountability looks like a day when women of all kinds are treated equally and believed equally no matter what the circumstance of the assault or harassment. Or maybe that is just what I hope the future looks like for my daughters."
Accountability to me means social, political, economical agency and certainly physical agency. I think accountability is something that has long been overlooked and not really explored or cherished as something that is both effective for our own personal growth and our own ability to be better people and to figure out ways not to harm other people and also for other people to do the same with their actions and their own ways of living in this word. For me, accountability is a very important word and I think perhaps for some people it comes with a negative connotation or fear that that means there is a judgment, but it's not. I think accountability is just a way in which we can have a larger agency about our actions in this world, which, again, if we all do that together, if it's cumulative, we can create change with it.
Political consultant and co-founder of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund
"I think there are so many organizations working on so many good things that there's been a real coming together. You know, obviously Time's Up has a big platform and we're going to use that platform, but we're also working in alliance with so many other advocates for change. I think over the course of the next year, more structure, more connection, more concrete goals are going to be forth in a way that just allows kind of women across the country to plug in and make their power known."
Fatima Goss Graves
President & CEO of the National Women's Law Center and co-founder of the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund
"The problem of harassment and violence, we are just beginning culturally to understand it, to learn it and to be ready to address it. And so what that means is we're going to continue to get a lot of people who are experiencing harassment and violence in every sector. And our institutions have not changed enough. And so what I expect in 2019 is for our cultural rapid work to actually move into the institutions that are still failing to address it in an important way. Our plan in 2019 is really to press workplaces and schools and more, to be better and the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund will be able to do that by supporting individuals in their cases and their media needs to be able to really counter that, but we also will see important policy reform. I think people have awareness of the problem, have scratched the surface on that, but what we really need to do next is make sure that the sorts of changes that will be necessary to make sure that this sort of change is lasting, that those changes really start to happen."
Tracee Ellis Ross
"The 'Dear Sisters' letter and the lead-up to last year’s Golden Globes stand out to me as incredible and unprecedented moments. Being a part of this hard-working group of women who were willing to lean in to each other, roll up our sleeves and lead the charge was life changing. We were a motley band of nimble, organized and tireless ladies. We took control of the narrative, redefined how we relate to one another and we all got to feel how much we are on the same team. I experienced shared power in a way that I didn’t know was possible. Culture and patriarchy has spent a lot of energy siloing us off and Time's Up brought us together both in purpose and in comfort. Those early moments of Time's Up fueled me with a new kind of courage. I learned and continue to learn so much from these able, smart, wise, kind, bold women whom I now call my friends."
President & CEO of Time's Up
“My most memorable moment during this past year relative to Time's Up was hearing the ‘clarion call’ from Oprah Winfrey as she gave her Golden Globes’ acceptance speech. Her words resonated for me after having endured racial slurs growing up in the Deep South and being underestimated as a woman and a person of color throughout my professional career. I felt a sense of renewed confidence and an urgent sense of duty to help others ‘see the light’ of women’s voice and value."
Partner at Del Shaw Moonves Tanaka Finkelstein & Lezcano and founding member of Time's Up
"My involvement with Time’s Up has been profoundly life changing. I have never been satisfied with the status quo and to find a similarly minded group of people and to be part of a movement that is changing lives has renewed my faith that individuals can band together and make real lasting change. While I have always called out egregious behavior; I now engage in conversations about the gateway behaviors to abuse like incivility, intolerance and bystander silence. I have found that one can present a different perspective in a way that invites respectful dialogue. I am also surprised at my own former lack of awareness as to how pay inequality based on gender differences impacts women for their lifetimes, making them more liable to live in poverty in their old age. I am going to fight this battle for safety and equity in the workplace until it is won."
Co-Founder of Times Up Legal Defense Fund and founding partner of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP
"I’ve been astonished by the power and prevalence of #MeToo and #TimesUp. The feeling in the courtroom at the last hearing in the Harvey Weinstein criminal case a couple of weeks ago was absolutely electric. While all the actresses and activists were sitting respectfully in the courtroom, what they were really doing both literally and figuratively was bearing witness — not only to the criminal charges against Harvey Weinstein, but to what generations of women had to endure in silence. That silence is now broken and just as there is no going back to the days of the closet for LGBT people, retreating passively is no longer an acceptable alternative for women either."
Read this at CNN.