Hollywood stars Streep, Witherspoon and Aniston each donate $500,000 to anti-harassment campaign

Meryl Streep at a screening of movie 'The Post' in New York on December 7, 2017
Lars Niki | Getty Images

Actors including Jennifer Aniston, Meryl Streep and Reese Witherspoon have each donated $500,000 to Time's Up, a new campaign by power players in the entertainment industry to tackle harassment and sexism.

The donations are listed on a GoFundMe web page, raising money for the organization's legal defense fund, which will provide subsidized assistance to women and men who suffer sexual harassment, assault or abuse while at work, regardless of the industry they work in.

Time's Up, launched Monday, aims to "address the systemic power imbalances that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential," according to an online statement.

"Earning a living should not come at the cost of anyone's safety, dignity or morale," said Shonda Rhimes, producer of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal", who is involved in the campaign. "Every person should get to work in an environment free from abuse, assault and discrimination." Rhimes also donated $500,000.

Producer Shonda Rhimes in Los Angeles on December 6, 2017
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Other big-name donors include Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg's Wunderkinder Foundation, which donated $2 million; Katie McGrath and Star Trek creator JJ Abrams, who put up $1 million; and Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey who each donated $100,000. Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett, Emma Stone and Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg also gave money.

The organization ran an ad in The New York Times and in Spanish-language paper La Opinion on Monday. Entitled "Dear Sisters," it was in support of people in other "less glamorized" industries. In November, the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, or National Farmworker Women's Alliance, sent a letter of support to women in Hollywood after some, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, spoke of sexual harassment in the movie industry.


"Your job feeds souls, fills hearts and spreads joy. Our job nourishes the nation with the fruits, vegetables and other crops that we plant, pick and pack," the Alliance wrote at the time.

"Even though we work in very different environments, we share a common experience of being preyed upon by individuals who have the power to hire, fire, blacklist and otherwise threaten our economic, physical and emotional security," the open letter said.

"The magnitude of the past few months highlights the fact that sexual harassment against women in the workplace is endemic and touches every industry," said Tina Tchen, attorney and co-founder of Time's Up Legal Defense Fund, according to an online statement. "We are a community of women and men who can no longer stand idly by."