It seems that every day, a powerful man is being taken down for sexual misconduct or harassment. The first powerful figure to be called out was Harvey Weinstein in early October. More than 50 women came forward with allegations against Weinstein ranging from rape to sexual harassment. Ever since then, other male figures in media such as actor, Kevin Spacey, reporter, Matt Lauer, and chef, Mario Batali have had women come forward with allegations of sexual harassment. Due to these allegations and testimonies surfacing, it created the “#MeToo” movement. This movement started to spread across social media in October shortly after the Harvey Weinstein scandal. This hashtag was used on social media to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, especially in the workplace. #MeToo was created by Tanya Burke, a social activist and community organizer. Burke stated the purpose of the campaign is to “empower women through empathy, especially the experiences of young and vulnerable brown or black women.” This campaign was started in 2006 as part of a grassroots campaign to promote "empowerment through empathy" among women of color who have experienced sexual abuse, particularly within underprivileged communities. Moreover, in October 2017, actress Alyssa Milano, encouraged using the phrase to help reveal the extent of problems with sexual harassment and assault by showing how many people have experienced these events themselves. Milano tweeted, “If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote 'Me too.' as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” Milano later acknowledged the earlier use of the phrase by Burke, writing on Twitter, "I was just made aware of an earlier #MeToo movement, and the origin story is equal parts heartbreaking and inspiring.” This #MeToo campaign, led to a movement called, “Time’s Up”. Milano announced in an interview with Rolling Stone that she and 300 other women in the film industry are now supporting “Time's Up”, an initiative that aims to help fight sexual violence and harassment in the workplace through lobbying and providing funding for victims to get legal help if they can't afford it. Time's Up started with $13 million in donations for its legal defense fund. The initiative aims to lobby for legislation that creates financial consequences for companies that regularly tolerate harassment without action. A working group of “Time's Up” helped create a Hollywood Commission that examines sexual harassment, which is led by lawyer, Anita Hill. Another group is working towards legislation that would discourage the use of non-disclosure agreements to keep victims from talking about sexual harassment they experienced. At the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, the Time’s Up movement was supported by everyone on the red carpet and in the audience. Celebrities in attendance wore black to support the “Time’s Up” movement. Even celebrities that were not in attendance posted pictures wearing black to social media. Celebrities including Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Meryl Streep and more spearheaded the movement and encouraged others to support the cause by wearing black to the show. Both the “#MeToo” campaign and the “Time’s Up” movement gave an outlet for women to speak out and no longer be silent.
January 29, 2018