In the isolation 2020 has brought to all of us, it is easy to lose track of the rest of the world. For large swathes of this year, it has felt like the entire world was frozen, waiting for someone to press play again.
In spite of much of the entertainment industry grinding to a halt this spring, important progress has been made and maintained. TIME’S UP Foundation has continued its work to champion initiatives in the entertainment industry in its determination to create a stronger, safer work environment for industry professionals.
This year marked the debut of the TIME’S UP Guide to Working in Entertainment, aimed at fighting sexual harassment by educating those in positions of authority and empowering workers with the necessary resources to protect their rights. The three-volume series includes information for actors with Your Rights in Nude and Intimate Scenes and Your Rights in Auditions, as well as information for all industry professionals with Your Right to Report. These guides continue to be a trusted and widely shared resource in the industry.
In addition to its ongoing efforts to advocate for female directors, through the 4% Challenge, TIME’S UP launched a PSA, narrated by Ava DuVernay, that highlights below-the-line jobs and amplifies opportunities for women in the industry at every level. The PSA, which played in theaters across the U.S., is accompanied by resources on the TIME’S UP website that provide information about the relevant positions and practical avenues for those looking to get proper training or join an appropriate union.
TIME’S UP has also worked to bolster opportunities for diverse filmmakers, critics, and reporters. The organization partnered with USC’s Dr. Stacey L. Smith on its recent study Inclusion at Film Festivals, which revealed that having women of color programmers on staff resulted in better representation of diverse filmmakers. Meanwhile, CRITICAL, TIME’S UP’s press initiative, has more than tripled its database membership since it launched and now includes over 720 entertainment critics and journalists from underrepresented groups.
To further diversify the pathway to leadership among the executive and producer ranks, TIME’S UP’s pilot mentoring program, Who’s in the Room, saw 91% of its mentees receive promotions within nine months of the year-long program.
Beyond the entertainment industry, TIME’S UP has continued its efforts to promote safe, fair and dignified work through initiatives and campaigns across industries. For example, this spring, it premiered the TIME’S UP Guide to Equity and Inclusion During Crisis. Aimed at leadership, this guide serves to empower employers to build anti-racist and anti-sexist workplaces, equalize the workforce and care for workers during times of crisis.
Meanwhile, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund continues to provide legal resources and public relations support to survivors of sexual harassment, discrimination and related retaliation, thus far serving over 5,000 people.
So while it may feel like the industry is limping slowly back to its feet, it’s important to remember that there is still significant work being done. Important progress being made. TIME’S UP is just one organization doing the vital work of redefining the industry, so that when we are back in full force, the entertainment industry will hopefully be comprised of stronger, safer, more equitable workplaces for all.
Photo Credit: TIME’S UP Foundation