Lately, there have been mixed signals: Time’s Up faded away in January after a series of missteps, and high-profile female Oscar contenders ended up empty handed once again in traditionally male-dominated categories earlier this month. Harvey Weinstein is in jail but new reports of sexual misconduct by other men in positions of authority continue to pop up with unsettling frequency. Recent academic studies have not given those fighting for gender equality much to cheer about either.
The media has a different dialect of the work being done for women in the entertainment industry behind the scenes than the ones who have been doing the hard work all along have. From the surface, yes, it appears as if the “movement” has slowed or stalled. But the reality is that the only perceived progress was always just for headlines.
Slowly but steadily, independent organizations and activists are the ones who have continued to be the unsung heroes who have moved the needle, doing the work to create a safer and more equitable industry. Many of them, including Voices in Action, are named in this piece by Variety.
Interviewing Jessica Barth, President of Voices in Action:
As Time’s Up was gaining international public praise, actor and activist Jessica Barth was frustrated by the lack of resources for artists who had been harassed or assaulted, so she founded her own nonprofit to do the work that she did not see being accomplished by Hollywood-backed organizations, such as Time’s Up.
Barth — who is known for her role in the “Ted” movies, and spoke out against Weinstein in 2017 — now runs Voices in Action, a nonprofit offering an independent reporting platform with the ability to track serial offenders, while offering support to survivors of sexual assault within the entertainment industry.
“When I first spoke out against the abuse I experienced in this industry, I quickly realized there was little to zero resources for artists navigating life and career, after suffering a sexual assault by a person in a position of power,” Barth tells Variety. “I met with organizations such as Time’s Up, in an effort to work together in offering support for survivors. When working together proved to be futile, I launched my own organization. Since early 2018, Voices In Action has provided support for the survivors Time’s Up promised to support over five years ago.