More than 300 Hollywood A-list women, including actresses, writers and directors, have launched Time’s Up project to help fight harassment in the film industry and other workplaces.
The Time’s Up initiative was announced via a full-page advert printed in the New York Times.
The project is described as a “unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere”.
It comes in the wake of abuse allegations by high-profile actresses against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
In a solidarity letter published on its website, Time’s Up says the “struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard” must end.
It added: “Time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly.”
The letter, which is aimed at “every woman… who has had to fend off s**ual advances”, goes on to say that such harassment can often continue because “perpetrators and employers never face any consequences”.
The Time’s Up campaign, which is backed by hundreds of actresses including Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, Cate Blanchett, Eva Longoria and Emma Stone, has already raised more than $13 million of its $15 million target.
The funds raised will be used as legal support for both female and male victims of harassment at work.
The project is aimed primarily at those who are unable to meet the payments to defend themselves, such as agricultural or factory workers, caretakers and waitresses.
The Time’s Up initiative also calls for “gender inequality and the imbalance of power” to be addressed, stressing the need for more women to gain positions of authority and parity of pay.
Last month, Time magazine named “the Silence Breakers” – women and men who spoke out against abuse and harassment – as its “Person of the Year” for 2017.
2017 also saw the rise of the #MeToo hashtag, which inspired a global movement of women and men to share their stories of abuse and harassment.
The #MeToo hashtag gained momentum after actress Alyssa Milano took to Twitter to ask victims of assault to come forward in a show of solidarity.
Between October and December 2017, #MeToo was used on Twitter and Facebook more than six million times.
However, she went on: “After hearing all the stories these past few days… the things that we’re kind of told to sweep under the rug and not talk about, it’s made me want to speak up and speak up loudly because I felt less alone this week than I’ve ever felt in my entire career.
“And I’ve just spoken to so many actresses and writers, and particularly women who’ve had similar experiences, and many of them have bravely gone public with their stories.
“And that truth is very encouraging to me and to everyone out there in the world because you can only heal by telling the truth.”
Reese Witherspoon said she didn’t sleep before giving her speech because of “the feelings I’ve been having about anxiety, about being honest, the guilt for not speaking up earlier or taking action”.
The actress referred to the fact it had “been a hard week for women in Hollywood” following the Harvey Weinstein allegations.
However, she said she believed there was a new attitude towards harassment, which would address “the abuse of power in this business and every business”.
Reese Witherspoon added: “I feel really, really encouraged that there will be a new normal.”
Rose McGowan has publicly accused Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of raping her.
In a series of tweets, the actress also accused Amazon Studio chief Roy Price of having ignored her when she made the allegation earlier.
Amazon has put Roy Price – himself accused on October 12 of harassing a female producer – on leave of absence.
Harvey Weinstein, 65, denies any assaults. There was no comment from Roy Price.
Meanwhile, the NYPD and UK police have launched investigations into assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The NYPD is looking into an allegation dating from 2004 and reviewing whether there are any additional complaints. London’s Met Police has received an allegation of assault in the London area in the 1980s.
Addressing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Twitter, Rose McGowan – who has appeared in Scream, The Black Dahlia and TV series Charmed – criticized the company for doing business with Harvey Weinstein.
“I told the head of your studio that HW raped me,” the actress tweeted.
“Over & over I said it. He said it hadn’t been proven. I said I was the proof.”
Twitter briefly suspended McGowan for violating its terms and policies after she included a personal phone number in tweets about abuse allegations.
Some prominent figures, notably from the entertainment world, said they would boycott the platform on October 13 in protest, using the hashtag #WomenBoycottTwitter.
Roy Price was separately accused by Isa Hackett, a producer of one of Amazon’s shows, of inappropriate behavior in a taxi and at a corporate dinner in 2015, the Hollywood Reporter writes.
Isa Hackett reported the incident to Amazon executives immediately, she was quoted as saying, and an outside investigator was brought in.
She was not told the outcome of the investigation but did not see Roy Price again at any events involving her shows, she added.
In a statement, Amazon said: “Roy Price is on leave of absence effective immediately. We are reviewing our options for the projects we have with The Weinstein Co.”
The US and UK police are conducting investigations into assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
The NYPD is looking into an allegation dating from 2004 and is reviewing whether there are any additional complaints.
Meanwhile, London’s Metropolitan Police has received an allegation of assault in the London area in the 1980s.
Harvey Weinstein, 65, has “unequivocally denied” any allegations of non-consensual intercourse.
The NYPD said it was “looking to speak” to an individual who had made an allegation dating from 2004.
Assistant Commissioner J. Peter Donald said: “Based on information referenced in published news reports, the NYPD is conducting a review to determine if there are any additional complaints relating to the Harvey Weinstein matter.
“No filed complaints have been identified as of this time.”
The force also appealed for anyone with information to come forward.
London’s Met Police, meanwhile, said it had been passed the allegation of assault by Merseyside Police.
A Merseyside Police statement said it “can confirm a report was received at 8.40 am on Wednesday (October 11, 2017) of an alleged s**ual assault in the London area in the 1980s”.
The investigations come as more women publicly accuse Harvey Weinstein of inappropriate behavior, harassment or assault.
Kate Beckinsale is one of the latest, saying she had an encounter with the film producer at the age of 17, at the Savoy Hotel in London.
The actress said on Instagram she was told to go to Harvey Weinstein’s room, where he “opened the door in his bathrobe”.
“After declining alcohol and announcing that I had school in the morning I left, uneasy but unscathed.
“A few years later he asked me if he had tried anything with me in that first meeting. I realized he couldn’t remember if he had assaulted me or not,” the British actress said.
Cara Delevingne also said Harvey Weinstein tried to kiss her as she tried to leave a hotel room.
Emma Thompson also said sh4 found him to be a “bully” when his company Miramax owned the rights to her film Nanny McPhee.
According to The New Yorker, three women have accused Harvey Weinstein of rape.
His spokeswoman Sallie Hofmeister has said the producer “obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual.
“Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path.”
Speaking on October 11, Harvey Weinstein said: “We all make mistakes – second chance I hope.”
The movie mogul told TMZ: “Guys I’m not doing OK but I’m trying; I’ve got to get help. I’m hanging in – I’m trying my best.”
TMZ reported Harvey Weinstein was heading to Arizona to a treatment facility.
As he departed in a car, the producer made a plea for fair treatment from reporters, saying: “I’ve always been loyal to you guys… I’ve been a good guy.”
Meanwhile, the hosts of the Oscars are to hold emergency talks this weekend to consider Harvey Weinstein’s future role.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said the allegations of assault against him were “repugnant”.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has already suspended Harvey Weinstein’s membership.
A statement has also been issued by Cannes Film Festival, which Harvey Weinstein attended many times.
President Pierre Lescure said the festival had been “dismayed to learn of the accusations”.
Matt Damon said Harvey Weinstein told him the New York Times story would be claiming the Italian executive “had no professional experience”. He said the producer asked him to “tell her that he was a professional and you had a good experience, and that was it”.
He said: “I was never conscripted to do anything. We vouch for each other, all the time.”
The actor added: “I’m sure I mentioned to her that I didn’t know anything about the rest of her piece, because I didn’t.”
Matt Damon said that he had never seen inappropriate behavior during time spent making films with Harvey Weinstein.
“I think a lot of actors have come out and said, <<everybody’s saying we all knew>>. That’s not true,” the actor said.
“This type of predation happens behind closed doors, and out of public view. If there was ever an event that I was at and Harvey was doing this kind of thing and I didn’t see it, then I am so deeply sorry, because I would have stopped it.”
Russell Crowe hasn’t commented.
Sharon Waxman claimed the 2004 New York Times story was “gutted” after “intense pressure” from Harvey Weinstein. The paper went on to break the story of the latest allegations at the weekend.
The New York Times’ executive editor Dean Baquet, who wasn’t working for the paper in 2004, said: “It is unimaginable to me that The Times killed a story because of pressure from Harvey Weinstein, who was and is an advertiser.”