Witherspoon, Rhimes, Aniston Among Founders of Anti-harassment Group Time's Up

Women in Hollywood band together in anti-harassment initiative

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More than 300 actresses, writers and directors have launched a project to help fight sexual harassment in the film industry and other workplaces.

"Harassment too often persists because perpetrators and employers never face any consequences, " the letter reads.

"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", said the letter.

The women announced the launch with a lengthy letter of solidarity published as a full-page ad in the New York Times and the Spanish-language paper La Opinion on Monday. We stand with you.

The defense fund itself will be administered by the National Women's Law Center, and it includes a GoFundMe page (HERE) that was seeking to raise an initial $15 million to begin.

Time's Up also wants to put forth legislation to penalize companies that turn a blind eye to harassment, as well as discourage nondisclosure agreements meant to keep victims quiet, according to the Times.

"To the members of Alianza and farmworker women across the country, we see you, we thank you and we acknowledge the heavy weight of our common experience of being preyed upon, harassed and exploited by those who abuse their power and threaten our physical and economic security", Time's Up said.

The initiative, dubbed "Time's Up", is fronted by such prominent industry figures as Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of the television series "Grey's Anatomy" and other hit television shows; Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal Pictures; and actresses America Ferrera, Rashida Jones, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon.

The group also called for a major increase in the number of women in positions of leadership.

"We remain committed to holding our own workplaces accountable, pushing for swift and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone", the letter reads.

The meetings reportedly began in October, shortly after Harvey Weinstein was first accused of sexual assault.

A year ago also saw the rise of the #MeToo hashtag, which inspired a global movement of women and men to share their stories of sexual abuse and harassment.

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