More than 1,000 people have sought help through Time’s Up, an organization launched with the support of prominent Hollywood figures to combat sexual harassment, assault, and inequality in the workplace.
Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, used the 2018 Makers Conference in Los Angeles to announce that, since the Jan. 1 launch of Time’s Up, the organization has raised $20 million and received requests for legal aid from those who lack the means to defend themselves from workplace abuses — farm workers, hotel workers, steelworkers, and others.
“Time’s Up has really spoken to them,” said Tchen at the feminist media brand’s conference. “It’s spoken to men and women who really need help.”
Tchen joined a panel of prominent entertainment figures to talk about what’s next for the movement that seeks to raise awareness of the issue beyond the corridors of power in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay moderated a discussion with CAA motion picture agent Maha Dakhil, actresses Rashida Jones, Katie McGrath and Natalie Portman, Grammy-winning music video director Melina Matsoukas, entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw and writer-producer Jill Soloway.
Dakhil said Time’s Up had its roots in Donald Trump’s election victory.
“Women have been feeling very marginalized and oppressed since this shocking turn of events happened in our country,” Dakhil said. “In Hollywood, it happened in such an affronting way we had to respond to it.”
Soloway described the experience of sitting in a meeting room at CAA, surrounded by women from across the industry working in collaboration, as a signal, “O.K., the revolution is real.”
Shaw said the group’s mission is simple: “It’s equity and safety in the workplace.”
Jones said the change Time’s Up seeks is not limited to those in Hollywood whose stories have dominated headlines since the Harvey Weinstein disclosures.
“There is no change unless you bring everyone along who has been marginalized,” Jones said.
Portman said the collaboration of women participating in Time’s Up movement is a contrast to the experience of being on set, where actresses often are the only women in the workplace.
“There’s this thing about being the only woman at the table or whatever that is very isolating and endangering,” Portman said.
Tchen said the movement is uniting whose voices too often are fragmented and siloed by interests.
“This is all about bringing everything together,” she said. “I have to give a lot of credit to the women of Hollywood who really brought this together, gave a voice to it.”