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.


Prince Harry and Meghan arrive in hot Fiji for 3-day visit

Updated 23 October 2018
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Prince Harry and Meghan arrive in hot Fiji for 3-day visit

  • The couple was scheduled to attend a reception and state dinner with Fijian President Jioji Konrote
  • They will finish their tour with a four-day visit to New Zealand

SUVA, Fiji: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were greeted by hundreds of flag-waving well-wishers on Tuesday after arriving in Fiji for a three-day visit as part of their tour of the South Pacific.
School children in uniform and people of all ages lined the streets and waved both British Union Jack and Fijian flags as Prince Harry and Meghan’s motorcade drove past.
The couple arrived from Australia, where Meghan, who is four months pregnant, had her schedule reduced in recent days after a hectic start to their 16-day trip across four countries. Meghan has not announced any plans to reduce her schedule in Fiji.
After stepping off the plane, Meghan needed to hold her cream-colored hat to prevent it from being blown away as Harry inspected a guard of honor. There was a light drizzle and an official held an umbrella above Meghan’s head.
The couple was scheduled to attend an official welcome ceremony at Suva’s Albert Park that will mirror one attended by Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh in 1953. It was to involve traditional elements of Fijian culture, including dances and a kava ceremony. Members of the public are invited and 15,000 are expected to attend.
The couple was scheduled to attend a reception and state dinner Tuesday evening hosted by Fijian President Jioji Konrote.
Home to just over 900,000 people, Fiji is a former British colony that became independent in 1970 and later became a republic. Fiji remains a part of the Commonwealth group of countries and is a popular destination for tourists thanks to its warm climate and beaches.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that pregnant women not travel to a number of countries including Fiji and Tonga because of the presence of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which can cause severe birth defects.
There is no vaccine for Zika, and the CDC says the best way to avoid infection for those who must travel is to take extra precautions to prevent mosquito bites.
The couple is scheduled to visit Tonga on Thursday before returning to Sydney on Friday night for the final days of the Invictus Games, Harry’s brainchild and the focus of their tour. The couple will then finish their tour with a four-day visit to New Zealand.