Hollywood women launch #TimesUp campaign to end sexual harassment

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A number of Hollywood big names, including Ava DuVernay, Kathleen Kennedy, Ashley Judd, Eva Longoria, America Ferrera, Constance Wu, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Kerry Washington, Shonda Rhimes, Rashida Jones, Reese Witherspoon and Jill Soloway, to name a few, also published an open letter to lay out their mission.

"Harassment too often persists because perpetrators and employers never face any consequences, ' read a 'letter of solidarity" on the group's website.

The powerful women of Hollywood are fighting back against sexual harassment and abuse - not only in the entertainment industry rocked by misconduct sandals previous year, but also in workplaces across the country.

A legal defense fund, backed by $13 million in donations, to help less privileged women-like janitors, nurses and workers at farms, factories, restaurants and hotels-protect themselves from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it.

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It also includes an effort to increase gender parity across all industries, including Hollywood.

As the Times reports, the group is "leaderless, run by volunteers and made up of working groups"-each of which focusing on different areas of the problem or specific populations under threat".

Along with helping victims, the campaign calls for more women in positions of leadership and power across industries.

The organisation arose from informal gatherings of women talent agents in Los Angeles who starting meeting after the issue of sexual harassment landed like a bombshell on the entertainment industry in October.

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Drafting of legislation to punish companies that tolerate sexual harassment and to discourage nondisclosure agreements in such cases.

The group is also is backing the movement for women to wear black, in solidarity with those who have been sexually harassed, at the Golden Globes.

"For years, we've sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our lovely faces and our glamour", she said. It will be housed and administrated by the National Women's Law Center, and now has more than $13 million in donations.

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