The TIME'S UP initiative, a movement developed by over 300 women in the entertainment industry, launched in January with a solidarity letter demonstrating each endorser's desire to help protect women who are confronted by sexual harassment in the workplace. The TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, which "will provide subsidized legal support to women and men who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace and while in pursuit of their careers," serves as a means toward reaching that goal.
TIME'S UP sparked hope for working women of all backgrounds and left a tide of inspiration for further activism in its wake. The call to action affected every individual it reached in unique ways. For myself, it served as a turning point in my search for ways to make a difference as an ally to the cause.
After collaborating on a fundraiser where celebrities -- including Emma Watson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ian McKellen, Brent Spiner, John Cho, Marina Sirtis, Robert Picardo, Nichelle Nichols, Jennifer Morrison, and Jonathan Frakes -- contributed signed photos to be given away to fans who donated to Hurricane Irma relief efforts in 2017, my colleague Janice and I began to discuss methods of continuing our activism.
However, it was not until the release of the TIME'S UP letter that we received the inspiration for where we should focus our efforts in 2018. We developed an outline for a new initiative, which was later refined utilizing invaluable advice we received from Heather Matarazzo, Piper Perabo, Tara Strong, and Alice Eve.
The resulting concept is one that we believe can benefit TIME'S UP and other spectacular charitable organizations. Before we take an in-depth look, we must note that we are not affiliated with TIME'S UP, the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, or any other organizations. Our efforts -- and those of participating celebrities -- are entirely voluntary in nature.
So, here's the plan... Janice and I are organizing a large group of actors and activists (currently over 30 participants and counting!) who will help encourage fans to continue to make donations to TIME'S UP and other charities selected by the celebrities. Each month, the actors we have assembled will be offering a variety of fan experiences -- ranging from autographed giveaways to personal online video chats via Skype, FaceTime, etc.
How will this work? Once we have assembled our full roster of celebrity participants, we will post a list of the experiences each actor will offer and which charities they would like fans to support. Fans may then request a specific experience from a celebrity on a first-come, first-served basis by contacting me on Twitter at @CaptStobie. Fans must provide screenshots to prove they donated to the official website or fundraiser (such as the TIME'S UP GoFundMe page) for a given charity. Full details will be posted along with the list of experiences.
People across the world have shown their incredible generosity by donating to TIME'S UP and other wonderful causes out of the goodness of their own hearts. This effort is simply our way of thanking fellow activists and donors for standing in solidarity to assist those less fortunate.
Contributing Editor: Jay Stobie
Jay Stobie is... well, he likes to give himself fancy titles, but he mostly works with actors on a variety of projects and occasionally considers himself a freelance writer. Are you a fan or celebrity with questions about this article? Feel free to send Jay a message on Twitter at @CaptStobie