The Golden Globes marked the first day of the spring semester with the “Time’s Up” movement gaining traction. Women are leading the charge to hold big-time producers, corporate CEOs and local managers accountable for their lecherous behavior.
Journalists are partners to the movement and they should be. The New York Times announced the Time’s Up movement on Jan. 1.
The movement cited an open letter published in Time by Alianza Nacional de Campesinas vowing support to women of many professions. The support includes a legal defense fund as well as an effort to write legislation combating workplace harassment.
The coalition’s message enjoyed additional exposure at the Golden Globes when Oprah’s speech promoted Time’s Up. Additionally, numerous celebrities name dropped the movement and wore black in solidarity with the victims Time’s Up vows to protect and vindicate.
Local activists and community members may not approve of Hollywood’s self-congratulation or of their simple acts of solidarity that dwarf the uphill battle activists face everyday, but her mention of journalism’s importance in the battle for accountability was enough for some.
A-List celebrities aren’t journalists; regular people are. Whether one is live streaming the women’s march on Facebook, covering a local politician’s unseemly behavior or interviewing students about sexual harassment on campus, journalists are doing their part for the Time’s Up movement.
When Oprah thanked the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the non-profit organization that conducts the annual Golden Globes, she acknowledged the continued attacks on the press. “We all know the press is under siege these days,” Oprah said. “But we also know it is the insatiable dedication of uncovering the absolute truth that keeps us from turning a blind eye from corruption and to injustice.”
The first step to bringing the change the Time’s Up movement seeks is strong, empowered women speaking up and sharing their stories, but it doesn’t end there. People need to listen; people need to believe. The journalist’s duty to report the truth without fear or favor is imperative to ensuring people listen and believe the truth.
Before Oprah achieved fame as a talk show host, she was a journalist, and that night at the Golden Globes she articulated the value of a free and unencumbered press.
“What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have had,” Oprah said. She concluded, “For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of these men, but their time is up. Their time is up!”
For journalists, the time is now.