Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars sat down with a television icon earlier this week to discuss the Time’s Up movement.
Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shonda Rhimes, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy and attorney Nina Shaw all assembled for a panel discussion with host Oprah Winfrey on Monday.
That will air this weekend on CBS Sunday Morning, and in a preview released on Friday Oprah speaks to Witherspoon about the sexual assault she endured at the age of 16 while working for a director she has declined to publicly name.
These women have all signed the Time’s Up pledge in addition to donating their time, money and other resources to the cause, which aims to eliminate sexual misconduct across all industries.
‘There’s moments that you have to evaluate whether silence is going to be your only option, and certain times that was our only option,’ said Witherspoon.
‘But now is not that time.’
Ladies who launch: Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shonda Rhimes, Kathleen Kennedy and Nina Shaw sat down with Oprah
Emotional moment: the women were on hand to speak about the Time’s Up campaign they launched, with Witherspoon (above) being brought to tears when she spoke about her sexual assault
Hard: Witherspoon breaks down while revealing it is still emotional to discuss the incident, which is why she believes the Time’s Up campaign is so important
Oprah noted that she was in the room when Witherspoon first shared her assault story last year at the annual Elle Women in Hollywood Awards
‘I don’t know if I’ve gotten to that place yet, as you can see I’m still very emotional. I keep going back to, someone sent me this Elie Weisel quote,’ said Witherspoon.
That quote reads: ‘We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere.’
The Oscar-winning actress, 41, said that the biggest role she and other A-list stars will play as part of the movement will be bringing a voice to the silenced and becoming allies to those women who have been ignored.
‘You know, we have public voices. We have resources,’ said Witherspoon.
‘But women who are workers in this country have nothing to gain in certain times by coming forward. But we want to help. It gives me strength to hopefully help other women.’
Ellis-Ross added: ‘At this moment it’s a campaign, and we’re all sort of workers among workers and women among women, sort of rolling up our sleeves and doing whatever sort of comes to the forefront.’
Kennedy then finished off by stating: ‘We have to maintain the momentum of this conversation because they can’t.’
Giving: These women have all signed the Time’s Up pledge in addition to donating their time, money and other resources to the cause
Oprah at one point asked the women: ‘How do we as a society have a mature, nuanced conversation about how men and women should be relating to each other?’
She went on to explain: ‘Because there’s so many men and women now who are uncomfortable in their workplaces because of all that’s been uncovered and aren’t just really sure how to be. What do we say to them?’
Portman chimed in at this point to point out one of the most noted missteps many have taken when issuing apologies or making statements.
‘We’re humans. We’re all humans. And I think it’s treating people as fellow humans … it’s not because you have a daughter that you respect a woman, it’s not because you have a wife or a sister,’ explained the 35-year-old Oscar winner.
‘It’s because we’re human beings, whether we’re related to a man or not. We deserve the same respect.’
Oprah’s sit-down with some of the famous faces in the Time’s Up movement airs Sunday at 9am on CBS.