The initiative, dubbed "Time's Up", is fronted by such prominent industry figures as Shonda Rhimes, executive producer of the television series "Grey's Anatomy" and other hit television shows; Donna Langley, chairwoman of Universal Pictures; and actresses America Ferrera, Rashida Jones, Ashley Judd, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon.
Hollywood women A-listers and actors launched an initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in the film industry, months after Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual transgressions came to light.
The initiative includes a legal defense fund, headed by Tchen, Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, and backed by $13 million in donations, to help protect less privileged women from sexual misconduct and the fallout from reporting it.
The powerful women of Hollywood are fighting back against sexual harassment and abuse - not only in the entertainment industry rocked by misconduct sandals a year ago, but also in workplaces across the country.
"TIME'S UP is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere".
"If this group of women can't fight for a model for other women who don't have as much power and privilege", Rhimes told the Times, "then who can?" The group rapidly expanded and now includes meetings and workshops for participants in NY and London.
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Drafting of legislation to punish companies that tolerate sexual harassment and to discourage nondisclosure agreements in such cases.
It calls on women to wear black at Sunday's Golden Globes as a statement against gender and racial inequality, as well as raise awareness about the group's efforts.
This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment.
Time's Up has described the letter as "powerful", and said it will focus on lifting the "voices, power, and strength of women working in low-wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable".
While Time's Up plans to structure itself as a decentralised organisation with no formal hierarchy but established traditions, it plans to forge alliances with similarly focused organisations, among them 50/50 by 2020, a group that aims for equal gender representation in United States boardrooms by 2020.