Time’s not up for “Time’s Up.”
A group of some of the leaders of the recently convened “Time’s Up” movement told Oprah Winfrey during a taped interview Sunday on “CBS This Morning” that their effort continues after gaining notice before and during the industry’s recent Golden Globes awards. “At this moment– it’s a campaign. And we’re all sort of workers among workers and– women among women sort of rolling up our sleeves and doing whatever sort of comes to the forefront,” actress Tracee Ellis Ross said during the CBS News segment.
The interview took place after the Golden Globes. Winfrey, a special correspondent for CBS News who has this season been filing reports to the unit’s “60 Minutes,” interviewed Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm; Shonda Rhimes, the TV producer and creator of shows such as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal”; entertainment attorney Nina Shaw; and actresses America Ferrara, Natalie Portman, Reese Witherspoon, and Ross.
The group’s plans are ambitious. As disclosed previously, “Time’s Up” intends to push to strengthen laws regarding workplace harassment and discrimination as well as promote a drive for parity in top offices in Hollywood studios and talent agencies. The effort was spurred after explosive reports about sexual assault and harassment allegations against indie film mogul Harvey Weinstein going back decades. A groundswell has shed light on similar behavior in the worlds of politics, law, media, academia and hospitality.
The members indicated the group wants to help women in industries not as glitzy as entertainment or media. The campaign has established a $16 million legal defense fund for harassment victims. “We have to maintain the momentum of this conversation because they can’t. It’s– it’s not only in what we’re doing with a group like Time’s Up, but it’s in the content we’re creating, the conversations we’re having. We have to continue this work because we do have the spotlight,” said Kennedy.
Winfrey asked if there’s room for perpetrators of sexual assault or harassment to find forgiveness, and the members indicated such a path might be possible. “I think there’s a lot of room for reconciliation. I think there’s — there’s a time to approach people and tell the truth and have them listen thoughtfully and meaningfully and apologize sincerely,” said Witherspoon.
“There have been a lot of shouting across a lot of tables about this because some people really feel like, no, that’s it, that’s it for them, and some people feel like they’re not so sure. I mean, I was raised in a world in which I believe that there has to be a belief that people can grow, change and learn — and know better,” said Rhimes. “I mean, not if you’ve committed a crime. I feel like you need to go pay — do your time for your crime, but I do believe people have to be able to grow, change and learn from their mistakes. At a certain point — there has to be room for reconciliation in a world — in a weird way. But a lot of people don’t think that right now, and a lot of women have the right to not feel that right now.”
“I think the one thing I would say is, like, everybody’s gotta do some listening,” added Ross.