More than 20,000 donations have added up to $20 million for the Time’s Up legal fund.
The initiative was founded by more than 300 Hollywood women to combat sexual harassment and administrator Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff, said they’ve already gotten requests from 1,000 people.
At the 2018 Makers Conference Monday night, Ava DuVernay, who jokingly called the panel the Avengers, led a conversation with Tchen, actresses Natalie Portman and Rashida Jones, writer-producer Jill Soloway, talent agent Maha Dakhil, Grammy-winning music video director Melina Matsoukas and entertainment lawyer Nina Shaw.
“We’re as silenced by the shadows as we are by the limelight,” Portman said about the need to bring women together.
“There’s this kind of secondary thing about being the only woman at the table that is very isolating and endangering. How empowering it is to be in a room, to be on the same team, to say, ‘We refuse to be pitted against each other.’ There is not only one spot, we’re going to make room for all of us.”
In the month since Time’s Up launched, 1,000 people have reached out for help, Tchen said. About 200 lawyers have also signed up to volunteer their time.
“We didn’t want to be a group of people who got in a room and talked about the change we wanted to see made, we wanted to be part of that change,” Shaw said. “And it was so important for us to come out in our very beginning with an action-oriented item.”