“May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.” – Laura Dern, actress

2018 has started with a bang! 

On January 1, 300 prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers and entertainment executives in Hollywood took the rhetoric of the #MeToo movement and translated it into action by forming an initiative in response to sexual harassment across the film industry and beyond, calling it the #TimesUp initiative. The #TimesUp initiative aims to push for gender parity in film studios and to advocate for legislation to penalise companies that tolerate persistent harassment. It has also set up a Legal Defense Fund to support lower-income women seeking justice for sexual harassment and assault in the workplace. In slightly over a week, the fund has exceeded its initial goal of US$15 million and continues to grow. 

In another unprecedented move, #TimesUp also changed the tone of Sunday’s much anticipated Golden Globe awards, with the majority of attendees wearing black to speak out about sexual harassment and assault in the entertainment industry. Several actresses invited prominent activists for women’s rights and many used their time on stage and / or interviews to speak in support of #MeToo and #TimesUp, with award co-host Natalie Portman calling out the all-male slate of nomineesfor the Best Director, an award that only four women have been nominated for in the last 34 years.

At TWF, we think this development rings in the new year with a message of strength, optimism and an unstoppable drive for change. We have many concerning areas to address relating to gender but we are seeing bolder, more innovative solutions to tackle systemic issues and we are looking forward to working with all of you in the coming year on barriers like these and many more that continue to hinder girls and women from achieving their full potential.

As Oprah Winfrey so powerfully noted in her acceptance speech upon receiving the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award: “I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women...and some pretty phenomenal men, [are] fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say, ‘Me too,’ again."

We would love to hear from you and particularly your ideas and responses to the global #MeToo movement. Get in touch at Fiona.Nott@twfhk.org



Written by

The Women's Foundation