As #MeToo ricocheted around the world last year, some people began to wonder if the phrase might become a haven for Hollywood stars and shut out women like Tarana Burke, who created the hashtag more than a decade ago.
In a true show of solidarity, many of the biggest names in entertainment banded together to launch Time's Up, an initiative that provides resources (in the form of information and a legal defence fund) to women who have experienced sexual harassment or assault in the workplace.
Only two months after launching, 1,569 people have contacted Time's Up for help, reveals The Washington Post.
The fund has raised $21 million so far and "those resources are being used to help waitresses, nurses, government employees, sales clerks and women in virtually every field who are coming forward." Representatives from Time's Up say that some men — 30 in total, or 2% of those reaching out — have also sought help from the fund.
Providing the financial means for victims to seek recourse and have their day in court after being fired or forced out of their jobs can go a long way. Economic intimidation is a major factor in why so many women remain silent about their experiences. At the same time, simply knowing what resources exist seems to be another reason why Time's Up has grown so quickly.
Tina Tchen, former chief of staff Michelle Obama and a founder of the fund told the Post it's no surprise that "the phones are ringing off the hook" as previously, many women had no idea where to find help. Now, Shonda Rhimes told the paper, "people are reaching out from all over the world."