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The powerful women of Hollywood are fighting back against sexual harassment and abuse - not only in the entertainment industry rocked by misconduct sandals past year, but also in workplaces across the country. Rhimes told the New York Times.

The initiative, called Time's Up, is described as a "unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere".

Organisers said they were moved to broaden the effort after receiving an open letter on behalf of 700,000 women farm workers in November.

"As a first step towards helping women and men across the country seek justice, the signatories of this letter will be seeding a legal fund to help survivors of sexual assault and harassment across all industries challenge those responsible for the harm against them and give voice to their experiences".

Natalie Portman, Kerry Washington, Eva Longoria, Ashley Judd and Meryl Streep are also among the group of females in the entertainment industry who are backing Time's Up, which was created in the wake of the sexual assault and harassment allegations which have emerged in recent months.

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Drafting of legislation to punish companies that tolerate sexual harassment and to discourage nondisclosure agreements in such cases.

The initiative also requested women actors to wear black at the red carpet of the upcoming Golden Globes Awards. For years, we've sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colours and our attractive faces and our glamour. "This time the industry can't expect us to go up and twirl around. That's not what this moment is about".

The initiative, dubbed Time's Up, caps a year in which the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct scandal touched off a deluge of allegations that brought down powerful men in entertainment, politics and the media, prompting companies, government agencies and even the United States federal court system to re-examine harassment policies.

A drive to reach gender parity at studios and talent agencies.

Witherspoon said that in the past women have been "siloed off from each other". It will be housed and administrated by the National Women's Law Center, and now has more than $13 million in donations.


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