You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Angela Robinson, Krista Vernoff on the Pain and Liberation of the Me Too and Time’s Up Movements

During back to back panels at Variety’s Inclusion Summit, the founder of Me Too and the executive director of entertainment at Time’s Up, among others, discussed how far the movements have come since they started, and also how much work there still is to do.
“How To Get Away With Murder” writer and producer Angela Robinson recalled why the Time’s Up movement originated and its “critical” early moments.
“It was born out of Harvey and pain and this moment in our industry. You knew what was going on, maybe not the extent, but it was there,” Robinson said.
In the year since it was founded, Robinson and Time’s Up executive director of entertainment Nithya Raman agree that one of its greatest achievements has been setting up the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which helps provide legal and financial aid to people who have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
“At the time, the knee-jerk legal move was somebody steps forward and powerful dudes in Hollywood slap back hard with legal. They call their big lawyer and their big lawyer says super scary things like, ‘We’re gonna bankrupt you.’ That was the move,” Robinson said. “Se we thought we’re gonna set up a legal defense fund so that playbook can go bye-bye.”
Krista Vernoff, the “Grey’s Anatomy” showrunner who also spoke on the panel, vividly recalled her first Time’s Up meeting and the feeling that change was “not only possible,” but that the people in that room were going to be the ones to bring it about.
From a storytelling perspective, both Robinson and Vernoff agreed that Time’s Up has been “liberating.”
“I realized there’s support and I don’t have to apologize for writing a sexual harassment storyline, I don’t have to ask for permission to write an episode about consent that looks through the lens of the survivor,” Vernoff said. “I can use my creative voice to impact the planet in the way that I want to and not fear pushback.”
During an earlier panel with Me Too founder Tarana Burke and Montse Barrena, EVP and group account director at Deutsch, Burke said that while she “could never have envisioned” how far the movement has come, she feels that Me Too is often misunderstood and misrepresented.
“What people see about Me Too, mostly in the media, is not really a movement. There’s a lot of talk about Me Too and every time something happens people will assign the Me Too label to it with anything related to sexual harassment, sexual violence, but there’s never really a focus on the people who stood up and said Me Too,” Burke said. “Me Too wouldn’t be a viral sensation of individual people didn’t take the risk to stand up and put their most private information out there in public. I come from a tradition that says if somebody takes an individual risk, there needs to be courage to meet that, and there was not enough courage. Our goal was to create something that spoke to survivors and made it clear to people what this movement is about.”
During the panel, Burke and Barrena announced that Me Too is partnering with Deutsch on a series of four spots which seek to “speak to survivors” and make it clear that the movement is about “healing and action.” One of the spots features actor Terry Crews recounting his experience with sexual assault, Burke revealed.
Barrena said that much of the discussion around the spots was how to inspire action.
“We had a lot of conversations about how we get beyond just talking,” she said. “It’s one thing to have good intentions, it’s another thing to roll up your sleeves and do something about it.”

More TV

  • Kevin Costner stars as John Dutton

    'Yellowstone' Season 2 Premiere Ratings More Than Double in Delayed Viewing

    The Season 2 premiere of “Yellowstone” more than doubled its Live+Same Day numbers in Live+3. Related #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, 'Soulless' Author Jim DeRogatis Talk R. Kelly Allegations Marlee Matlin Discusses Underrepresentation of People With Disabilities in Film and TV According to Nielsen data, the premiere last Wednesday rose to a 0.98 rating in adults [...]

  • Malaka

    Conecta Fiction 2019: 10 Takeaways

    MADRID  —  The 3rd Conecta Fiction, Europe’s biggest Latin American TV co-production forum, wrapped last week in Pamplona after four days of dealing, debate and gastronomic delectation. Following 10 Takeaways from an intense and buoyant event, driven by the unfaltering growth of high-end production in Spain and most of Latin America: Related #MeToo Founder Tarana [...]


    Conecta Fiction: Roberto Rios, Miguel Salvat Talk HBO’s Latin American, Spanish Production

    PAMPLONA, Spain   —  Few events were more anticipated at Conecta Fiction than the joint keynote delivered by HBO Latin America’s Roberto Ríos and HBO España’s Miguel Salvat. The room was packed,some attendees caught it from a screen outside. Related #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, 'Soulless' Author Jim DeRogatis Talk R. Kelly Allegations Marlee Matlin Discusses [...]


    'L Word' Follow Up at Showtime Adds Four Series Regulars

    The upcoming “L Word” sequel series at Showtime is rounding out its main cast. Related #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, 'Soulless' Author Jim DeRogatis Talk R. Kelly Allegations Marlee Matlin Discusses Underrepresentation of People With Disabilities in Film and TV Arienne Mandi, Leo Sheng, Jacqueline Toboni, and Rosanny Zayas have all been cast in series regular [...]

  • Comic-Con 2019 TV Schedule

    Comic-Con 2019 TV Schedule: When Are Your Favorite Shows Taking Over San Diego?

    This year’s San Diego Comic-Con has a feast of TV show panels and special screenings for fans. To keep you updated on the happenings this year, Variety is compiling a master list of the experiences for the July 17 to July 21 pop culture convention. Related #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, 'Soulless' Author Jim DeRogatis Talk R. [...]

  • El Pájaro Amarillo

    ‘The Yellow Bird’ Takes Off from Pamplona’s Conecta Fiction

    PAMPLONA, Spain — Actor-turned-producer Antonio Resines attended this year’s Conecta Fiction TV co-production and networking event with his proposed series “The Yellow Bird,” based on a true story. Related #MeToo Founder Tarana Burke, 'Soulless' Author Jim DeRogatis Talk R. Kelly Allegations Marlee Matlin Discusses Underrepresentation of People With Disabilities in Film and TV In the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content