Golden Globes 2019 Marks One Year of Time's Up: 'We Still Have a Lot of Work to Do' (Exclusive)

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Golden Globes 2018
Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC via Getty Images

On Jan. 1, 2018, after major revelations of abuse and misconduct rocked Hollywood, hundreds of prominent women came together to form the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, a new initiative to combat the imbalance of power in the entertainment industry and beyond. Days later, Time’s Up had a coming out party at the 75th annual Golden Globes, where women walking the red carpet were asked to "speak out and raise awareness by wearing black." Additionally, other supporters wore corresponding pins and several women brought activists, like the founder of the Me Too movement, Tarana Burke, as their guests.

It was a moment of reckoning for many in Hollywood: decades of systemic abuse stops now.

"[It's] a really positive moment, one that's going to change our culture forever,” Allison Janney told ET at the time. "I think the #MeToo movement showed how pervasive sexual harassment has been, and now Time's Up is a call to action."

In the year since the launch of Time's Up, more than 1,000 women joined the ranks of the organization while the hashtag, #MeToo, continued to be a staple on social media for women -- famous or not -- to come together about their unwanted experiences in the workplace.

Following allegations of rampant abuse made against Harvey Weinstein, over 140 people in business, politics and Hollywood, including Les Moonves, Louis C.K. and Matt Lauer, have been accused of sexual misconduct. The fallout varied from person to person. Bill Cosby became the first person convicted in the #MeToo era; he was found guilty of drugging and sexually assaulting a woman. Legal cases against Weinstein and Kevin Spacey are moving forward while Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearing was rocked by an investigation into allegations of sexual assault.

Meanwhile, strides were made both on and off-screen, from rally cries at awards seasons to Time's Up partnerships in various sectors of business, including advertising and news. According to the Legal Defense Fund, over 3,800 women and men reached out for help while the organization offered support to workers in the service and farming industries; 20,000 Google employees across the world walked out in protest of the company's handling of sexual harassment claims; and a landmark number of women were elected to Congress. As of October, $22 million has been raised by Time's Up to provide legal aid to sexual violence victims -- $2 million of which was donated by Mark Wahlberg when it was revealed he was paid substantially more than co-star Michelle Williams to reshoot scenes for All the Money in the World after Kevin Spacey was replaced by Christopher Plummer.

The organization is helping "women in our own industry who are fighting against gender-based discrimination and violence, assault, harassment and helping them against very powerful and very wealthy bullies," Natalie Portman said in October. Portman is one of several founding signatories -- including Alysia Reiner, Alyssa Milano, Ashley Nicole Black, Thandie Newton and Trace Lysette -- who recently spoke with ET about the movement.

Now, one year later, as Time’s Up celebrates a of momentum and the Golden Globes serves as an opportunity for women (and men) to reflect on changes within the industry over the past year, "I am excited by what has happened and what is possible," Orange Is the New Black actress Alysia Reiner says. According to Deadline, this year's ceremony will see the debut of Time's Up bracelets -- a marker of Time's Up first year and continued advocacy for change -- created by Oscar-nominated costume designer Arianne Phillip. 

"I feel safer than I did a year ago seeing how much had been accomplished in such a short amount of time," Trace Lysette says. The Transparent actress previously came forward with her own accusations of sexual harassment by her co-star Jeffrey Tambor on the set of the Amazon series. "I see safety in numbers and opportunities at our doorstep that I didn’t see before. I see us thinking beyond ourselves in the entertainment industry and onto women in other industries." 

"What is remarkable about Time's Up is that it includes people from all walks of life, from the actresses you associate with it, to the farmworkers who reached out and started the movement. It's remarkable for a coalition of so many different people to have worked together for a year," Full Frontal With Samantha Bee correspondent and writer Ashley Nicole Black says. "And that diversity is the strength of the movement."

Time's Up

Tarana Burke, Michelle Williams, America Ferrera, Jessica Chastain, Amy Poehler, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman, Ai-jen Poo and Saru Jayaraman at the 19th annual Post-Golden Globes Party hosted by Warner Bros.

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

For all its successes and worldwide attention, "I think we still have a lot more work to do," Alyssa Milano says.

The Project Runway All Stars host and actress, who helped popularize the #MeToo hashtag in 2017 and has been a vocal supporter seen at the Kavanaugh hearings and lobbying Congress over the past year, says "it really comes down to all of us. I’m not expecting any one organization to fix the problem." While a staunch supporter of Time's Up, the actress revealed she won’t speak at the next Women's March because, according to The Advocate, its leadership refuses "to denounce Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan's anti-Semitic, homophobic, and transphobic statements."

"I'm just one of those people that I'm not going to be happy with the incremental wins," Milano adds, while noting that the "solidarity and sisterhood" that's come out of Time's Up makes her "heart swell most." She concludes by saying, "If we're able to harness our collective pain into a collective power, I really do think that we're going to change things."

Amber Heard, who has come forward with personal revelations about her former marriage with Johnny Depp and is a supporter of the Time's Up movement, has also taken to wearing an orange ribbon to raise awareness for the United Nations' mission to end gender-based violence both at home and in the workplace. "Violence against women is an issue that transcends all social, economic, geographic boundaries; everyone is affected," she recently said. "It's a global issue and it's an issue that has been relegated mostly to the private sector."

She is one of many prominent voices in the industry, like Thandie Newton, who has advocated for causes that parallel the Time's Up movement. "As an activist ending violence against women and girls for over 20 years, it's been a relief to witness the Hollywood community reinforcing those goals," the Westworld star says, adding: "The key now is to keep up the pressure, and not expect overnight change. Our children and grandchildren will inevitably inherit our challenges, but thankfully they’ll also inherit the tools of our activism."

In order to maintain momentum in the new year, Time's Up has launched TIME'S UPx2, "to double the number of women in leadership and across other spaces where women are underrepresented."

"Like our start (and any good movement), we want to keep an element of surprise so you have to wait to see it," Reiner says, adding: "It is my hope that we will continue to create awareness and visibility via the fund and cases supporting women, showing up in court like we did in the Weinstein case [in December], or our newly announced mentorship program, and a lot more action."

For Milano, that action is focused on marginalized groups, such as farmworkers, domestic workers and homeless women. "The most important thing we can continue to do is to fix this issue for the most vulnerable because once that gets fixed I think that will have more power to fix everything else," she says.

In Portman’s case, Time's Up has created an opportunity to think about the next generation and how she can create "a different world for both my kids," she said, having learned to rethink past experiences and what is considered acceptable behavior. "I have a girl and a boy, and I want both of them to grow up with different ideas of opportunity, of behavior, of the options opened to them because both boys and girls are limited by a system that expects very, very specific things from boys and from girls. Everyone's options are limited because of this."

"I hope to continue to keep the conversation going and provide support when called upon," Lysette says of doing her part for Time's Up and making sure that the movement is still at the forefront. "I look forward to more meeting of the minds and to find and activate solutions for some of the hurdles that we are still trying to overcome. I hope to keep the conversation intersectional and inclusive, I will always try to advocate for that and to extend myself with compassion."

Perhaps most importantly, what happens in 2019 and beyond is about recognizing that Time's Up "is not a fad," Black says. "Women are not going backwards. We are not going to go back to accepting sexual harassment as a part of being a member of the workforce. We will continue to expect and demand safe workplaces for all."

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