Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Tracee Ellis Ross, and more joined the discussion — watch a clip here
Oprah Winfrey sat down with some of the most prominent women of Hollywood to collectively say something that bears repeating: Time is up for sexual harassers.
As shown in a clip from an interview that will air on CBS’ Sunday Morning on Jan. 14, the media mogul led Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, Shonda Rhimes, Natalie Portman, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Hollywood lawyer Nina Shaw in a discussion about the Time’s Up movement and how speaking one’s truth could lead to empowerment.
Winfrey, a special correspondent for Sunday Morning, asks Witherspoon about her own truth: the Big Little Lies star revealed in October that, when she was 16 years old, she was sexually assaulted by a director — a memory, she said, that made it “really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate” in light of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein.
“How has the ‘speaking out’ of it actually led to a greater sense of empowerment and control?” Winfrey asked.
“I don’t know if I’ve gotten to that place yet,” Witherspoon said. “As you can see, I’m very emotional about it, but I keep going back to, somebody sent me this Elie Wiesel quote that said silence helps the tormentors, it doesn’t help the tormented, and neutrality helps the oppressors, not the oppressed. And there’s moments that you have to evaluate, whether silence is going to be you’re only option — and in certain times that was our only option — but now is not that time.”
This new interview comes days after Winfrey brought the audience at the Golden Globes to their feet with her rousing speech accepting the Cecil B. DeMille award.
In confronting the climate of sexual harassment, Winfrey addressed the death of Recy Taylor, an African-American woman from Alabama who was kidnapped and brutally raped by several white men in the 1940s.
“Recy Taylor died 10 days ago, just shy of her 98th birthday,” Winfrey said. “She lived as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up.”
To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which will provide subsidized legal support to women and men in all industries who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace, visit its GoFundMe page. Learn more about Time’s Up, an organization of women in entertainment combating sexual harassment and inequality, on its website.