Hollywood stars back #TimesUp war on harassment as donations roll in

This combination of file photos shows actresses, from left to right, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, and Shonda Rhimes. Witherspoon, Aniston and Rhimes are among hundreds of Hollywood women who have formed an anti-harassment coalition called Time’s Up. (AP)
Updated 02 January 2018
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Hollywood stars back #TimesUp war on harassment as donations roll in

LONDON: Hollywood stars including Reese Witherspoon, Jessica Chastain and Natalie Portman have backed a campaign against sexual harassment called Time’s Up as donations flood in for a multi-million dollar legal fund to fight abuse cases in the workplace.
In an open letter in the New York Times, they said they particularly wanted to “lift up the voices” of women in low-wage industries whose lack of financial stability left them vulnerable to exploitation.
“I stand with ALL WOMEN across every industry to say #TIMESUP on abuse, harassment, marginalization and underrepresentation,” tweeted Witherspoon who won an Oscar for the Johnny Cash biopic “Walk the Line.”
The campaign comes after a slew of allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein last year sparked the #MeToo campaign, with women and men using social media to talk about their experiences of harassment.
More than 300 show business figures including actors, writers and directors launched the Time’s Up initiative with a full page advert in the New York Times on New Year’s Day, pledging to support workers in all industries fight sexual misconduct. “Let’s all make this resolution for the year: No more accepting sexual harassment and inequality at work as normal. It’s NOT normal,” tweeted actress Jessica Biel. By early Tuesday the initiative, also backed by Eva Longoria and Emma Stone, had raised nearly $14 million of a $15 million target for a legal fund to help victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. “We stand with all those who have endured sexual harassment: those who have come forward and those who have decided to remain quiet. It’s time for change, and we must act now,” the group said on their gofundme page. “The voices of those affected in every industry have been silenced for too long.” They said harassment often continued because those responsible and employers never faced consequences and because of systematic gender inequality. “The struggle for women to break in, to rise up the ranks and to simply be heard and acknowledged in male-dominated workplaces must end; time’s up on this impenetrable monopoly,” they said. The campaign with hashtag #timesup will also push for legislation to penalize companies that tolerate harassment and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims, according to the New York Times. “Time’s up on silence. Time’s up on waiting. Time’s up on tolerating discrimination, harassment or abuse,” Oscar winner Portman wrote on Instagram.
Actors are being encouraged to wear black at the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday to protest against sexual harassment.


Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

Updated 21 February 2019
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Hugh Jackman reveals Global Teacher Prize finalists ahead of Dubai ceremony

  • The awards ceremony will take place on March 24
  • Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen

DUBAI: Hollywood A-lister Hugh Jackman has lauded teachers as the “real superheroes” ahead of the  million-dollar Global Teacher Prize ceremony to be held in Dubai next month.

Speaking in a four-minute long video message, the actor revealed the 10 finalists who will be up for the prize on March 24.

Recalling his own experience, Wolverine star Jackman spoke of his “transformative” experience with his acting teacher.

Hugh Jackman and his acting teacher. (Supplied)

And he described the teaching profession as “the most important job in the world.”

“My favorite uncle was a teacher, my sister’s a teacher, my brother’s a teacher… My hope for every single person on the planet is that you have at least one,” he said.

“All of us go through insecurity and doubt, trepidation, along this journey of life, and those teachers that see the best in us and are patient enough to allow us to grow into that, they are like gold,” he added.

Out of 10,000 nominations from 39 countries, 10 finalists were chosen, including teachers from the UK, India, Japan, and Kenya.

The Dubai-based Global Teacher Prize was set up by global education charity Varkey Foundation to recognize one teacher “who made an outstanding contribution to the profession as well as to shine a spotlight on the important role teachers play in society.”

“I hope their stories will inspire those looking to enter the teaching profession and also shine a powerful spotlight on the incredible work teachers do all over the world every day,” said Sunny Varkey, the founder of the Varkey Foundation.

The winner will be announced at the “Global Education & Skills Forum” on March 24.

On the eve of the forum, chart toppers Little Mix, Liam Payne, and Rita Ora will perform at the Dubai Media City Amphitheater in a tribute concert organized by the foundation.

Here's the video announcement: