Sexual Harassment was definitely one the most talked about issues of 2017. It all began with the allegations against Harvey Weinstein in early October with actresses such as Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd speaking out against the producer, and then, almost in a snowball effect, more and more women started to come forward with allegations of their own. News outlets and social media seemed to be buzzing almost every day with new stories regarding the abuse of power in the film industry.
The Time’s Up movement, founded in early January, was built on the common goal to bring awareness to sexual harassment in Hollywood as well as the everyday workplace. Many celebrities have shown their support by putting the link to the organization’s website in their Instagram bios and wearing black at this year’s Golden Globe Awards as a statement of unity for women. Though this all seems great to an outsider looking in, it’s clear that some of these celebrities aren’t exactly taking action to make a change. The movement is allowing celebrities to hide behind a hashtag, pretending that they’re doing something to change history for women when in reality they’re doing nothing. At the Golden Globes, Natalie Portman made a comment about how all of the nominees for best director were male. Obviously, this was something that needed to be said but Portman is doing the bare minimum instead of actually attempting to solve the problem. Speaking out is the first step but it doesn’t resolve anything.
One might argue that speaking out brings awareness. Even if there are no physical actions being taken, it still makes people aware of the issues. However, celebrities need to be talking about these issues while also practicing what they preach. This movement could end up being extremely revolutionary if celebrities would use their power to make a difference instead of standing back and waiting for others to do what they won’t.
Another issue with the Time’s Up movement is the hypocrisy surrounding the men who claim they “support the movement.” Aziz Ansari and James Franco were both very open about their support for the movement but have recently both been accused of sexual harassment. Seeing men such as Ansari and Franco wearing the Time’s Up pins at the golden globes inspired more women to come forward, tired of the ‘nice-guy’ image coated in hypocrisy that’s at play in Hollywood.
The Time’s Up movement sparks an important conversation that definitely needs to be discussed. It’s important that we bring awareness to the sexual harassment happening in the film industry as well as the sexual harassment that we don’t hear about. We need to realize that our actions go hand in hand with our words. Once we all start doing our part to end the tolerance of sexual harassment, the Time’s Up movement could go down in history as a turning point for women and the abuse of power in the workplace.
story and graphic by isabella tyler