Some of Hollywood’s more powerful women sat down with Oprah Winfrey for a discussion about the Time’s Up campaign to end sexual harassment and assault.
Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, Natalie Portman, Tracee Ellis Ross, producer Shonda Rhimes, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and attorney Nina Shaw all appeared together for an interview with Winfrey that will air on “CBS Sunday Morning” this Sunday at 9 a.m. ET.
In a preview clip from the interview, Winfrey asked Witherspoon how speaking out about her story of assault by a director when she was 16 has led to a greater sense of empowerment for her.
“I don’t know if I’ve gotten to that place yet,” Witherspoon said. “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.’
“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. But now is not that time.”
On how we might have a mature conversation about how men and women relate to each other, Portman said, “We’re humans. We’re all humans. And I think it’s treating people as fellow humans and – and it’s not because you have a daughter that you respect a woman, it’s not because you have a wife or a sister, it’s because we’re human beings, whether we’re related to a man or not. We deserve the same respect.”
“At this moment it’s a campaign,” Ross said, speaking about the work it will take for the Time’s Up campaign to have a serious effect. “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.”
Making clear that the Time’s Up campaign extends well beyond the space of Hollywood, Witherspoon explained: “You know, we have public voices. We have resources. 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.”
“We have to maintain the momentum of this conversation because they can’t,” Kennedy added.