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Hollywood Women Launch Campaign To Stop Sexual Harassment

Jan 2, 2018
Originally published on January 2, 2018 8:52 am
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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

And I'm Ailsa Chang with an update on one of last year's biggest stories.

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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #1: We're going to move on now for more on Harvey Weinstein.

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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #2: One of Hollywood's best-known actors Kevin Spacey, the latest high-profile star caught up in allegations.

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UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER #3: A new woman is coming forward this morning to say that Senator Al Franken groped her years ago. Her name is Stephanie...

CHANG: Allegations of sexual harassment and abuse have dominated headlines in recent months - from media to entertainment to politics. Now, there's a high-profile initiative that's all about fighting back.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

It's called Time's Up. And the group has some ambitious goals, including setting up a $13 million legal defense fund to protect lower-income women and a push for more gender parity in Hollywood. Three hundred women have signed on - including high-profile names like Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoria and Reese Witherspoon, who has spoken publicly about her own encounters with sexual harassment.

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REESE WITHERSPOON: I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly. And I found it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings I've been having about anxiety, about being honest - the guilt for not speaking up earlier, for taking action, true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old.

CHANG: Time's Up is a response to a letter published last November on behalf of thousands of female farm workers. The letter came after the Me Too movement came under some criticism. Some said it didn't focus enough on less privileged women. Actress Jessica Chastain share that concern on the "Today" show last month.

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JESSICA CHASTAIN: But I think it would be a grave injustice to ignore other women in other industries because it's a society-wide problem.

CHANG: The letter announcing the Time's Up initiative says the mission is to have all survivors of sexual harassment everywhere to be heard, to be believed and to know that accountability is possible. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.