A Brief Timeline of the Time's Up Movement

Time's Up
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Last week, a judge declined to dismiss charges in the Harvey Weinstein case, a move that comes just on the heels of October’s one-year anniversary of the New York Times and New Yorker investigative pieces that delved into the movie executive’s numerous accusations of sexual misconduct. At the time, of course, it was just the beginning of the #MeToo movement, which pushed into the spotlight allegations against Hollywood heavy hitters like Kevin Spacey, Aziz Ansari and James Franco. We learned the names of Christine Blasey Ford and Aly Raisman, women who bravely brought their personal stories to the public and paved the way for others to do the same.

The movement helped to solidify the importance of zero tolerance when it comes to sexual assault — and it’s one that helped spark the Hollywood adjacent Time’s Up initiative.

But if you’re curious about how the Time’s Up movement came to be, then you might be interested in the following details, including where it first began.

Fall 2017

According to the Time's Up website, "as revelations of widespread abuse and misbehavior at the hands of powerful men sparked a global reckoning," a group of women in the entertainment business — including Reese Witherspoon and Halle Barry — began to meet and discuss what they could do to prevent future abuse, as well as combat mistreatment and gender inequity in the workplace. The website notes that an open letter penned by female farm workers from Alianza Nacional de Campesinas inspired the group to "think beyond Hollywood."

January 1, 2018

The Time's Up campaign is officially launched with its own open letter signed by 400 women, including Meryl Streep, Melissa McCarthy, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Nicole Kidman, Amy Schumer, Octavia Spencer, Jennifer Lawrence, Zoe Saldana, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Foy and Jennifer Aniston. The letter begins "Dear sisters" and notes that the group is "committed to holding our own workplaces accountable," as well as "pushing for safe and effective change to make the entertainment industry a safe and equitable place for everyone."

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January 6, 2018 — Golden Globes

The magnitude of the movement is visually represented at the awards ceremony, where nearly every guest wore black as a visual representation of their statement of solidarity. Celebrities wore “Time’s Up” pins and vocalized their push for change during red carpet interviews. About the all-black attire, actress Sophia Bush told InStyle:

“Subconsciously, a large group in all back reads, in our cultural lexicon, almost like a funeral. It’s inherently serious. And the point is, you cannot unsee it. The symbolism will stand. You cannot edit the coverage to talk about what’s in her purse or what she’s wearing rather than the work it took to play her role, or what she thinks about the geopolitical climate. You cannot promote fluff against her will this year. You will acknowledge the black; the blackout. The conversation will matter. Women’s voices will be heard.”

March 2018

By this time, the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund had already received more than 1,700 requests for help from people across a broad range of industries outside of Hollywood including construction, government, and hospitality. According to the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), which is administering the fund, 98 percent of the requests were from women, but there were some from men as well.

May 9, 2018

Scandal actor Tony Goldwyn pens an editorial for InStyle in which he writes about men’s role in the Time's Up movement and why they need to create an environment where women feel safe to ask for what they want:

“It takes courage to acknowledge uncertainty. And nothing is more attractive than demonstrating to another person that he or she is of value to you. The simple truth is that men are better bosses, colleagues, parents, friends, allies, and lovers when we ask instead of assume.”

Other celebrity men to join the movement include David Schwimmer, Justin Baldoni, David Arquette and Matt McGorry, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They even created the #AskMoreOfHim campaign aimed at encouraging men to use their power and platforms to support survivors of sexual harassment while also combating it.

October 2018

The organization names WNBA president Lisa Borders as its official president and CEO. “We are in effect hopeful we are going to change the world,” Borders told Fortune. “We will do it incrementally. It will not be dramatic shifts overnight. But we will work in each one of our focus areas and it will be an iterative process.”


More than 3,400 women and men have been connected to legal resources through the Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, according to the initiative's website. Two-thirds of those who contact the fund identify as low-wage workers. The network has more than 800 attorneys across the country who are taking on the cases.

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