February 21, 2018

Times Up Campaign inspires changes in T.V. & film industries

By Claire DuMont

Opinion Editor

Lauren Farberman

Executive Theme editor

At the 75th Golden Globe Awards, Almost every actress and some actors were dressed in all black, as part of the TIMES UP campaign.

TIMES UP initially began with a social media campaign that launched on Jan 1. 300 actresses and female agents posting their support in an open letter detailing the campaign to fight against sexual harassment in Hollywood and other workplaces nationwide. A powerful counterpart to the #MeToo movement, originally created in 2010 and revived in October, TIMES UP proves that the message connected with #MeToo will not be lost with time.

The initiative consists of a legal defense fund with $13 million in donations to help less privileged women protect themselves in reporting sexual harassment, legislation punishing companies that tolerate harassment and progress toward equality in companies. Social media will be utilized in order to ensure that women everywhere are heard and can share their stories on the same platform.

The sea of women in all-black attire was a powerful visual statement to viewers of the Golden Globes, as it was obvious who supported the campaign. The attention at points became more about who was not wearing black, rather than who was. This bold action during an important awards ceremony was an effective way to start the initiative and raise awareness.

The main component of TIMES UP is a legal defense fund aimed at protecting women in all industries in reporting their sexual assault and harassment cases. Currently, the campaign is dominated by celebrities and famous actresses, but the addition of the fund proves that the movement is working toward the inclusion of all classes and women that are affected by sexual assault. Without the defense fund, the initiative would still have an impact, but would be criticized for failing to include all classes.

Beyond wearing all black at the awards show, and in conjunction with the other many TIMES UP efforts of the night, several popular actresses chose to bring women activists as their dates. Actresses Laura Dern, Amy Poehler, Susan Sarandon, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep, Michelle Williams, Emma Watson and Shailene Woodley brought dates who are well-known gender and racial equality activists. Included in the event was Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement, who came with actress Michelle Williams. Bringing activists into the spotlight is important because it conveys that the TIMES UP Campaign is not just for the Hollywood elite, and is inclusive of and applicable to all women, regardless of their status.

At the Golden Globes, some men also chose to wear all black, including actors Timothée Chalamet, Zac Efron and Ansel Elgort. However, their statement of support was limited to the red carpet. After viewing all of the winning speeches of every male, there was no mention of the TIMES UP campaign during when they spoke. In order for any part of the campaign to work, both men and women have to be fully involved and in complete support for it to truly enact change not just in Hollywood but it workplaces around the world.

With the wave of sexual harassment allegations made in the entertainment industry recently, there has been a chain reaction inspiring people in all workplace environments to advocate for fair and equal treatment, and to speak up when injustices take place. Although TIMES UP is predominately in Hollywood, the conversation the movement has started regarding equality and freedom from harassment in the workplace and in all aspects of life is necessary.

The importance of TIMES UP cannot be argued, but in order for the movement to be completely supported, people in Hollywood and across the country in different industries should be in complete support of the movement and think harder about the figures that they support. Actions such as the Women’s March and the #Metoo campaign have made the voice of women louder and have empowered people, no matter gender, race, or orientation, to come forward and say if they were ever sexually abused, assaulted, or harassed in the workplace.

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