Stars acknowledge campesina support
Alianza letter sparked Hollywood’s Time’s Up organization dedicated to low-income women who suffer sexual attack or harassment
More than a thousand women have signed Hollywood’s “Time’s Up” letter against sexual abuse — including stars like Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Penélope Cruz, Nicole Kidman, Eva Longoria, and Meryl Streep.
They pay homage to the farmworker women whose support got it started. It’s a momentous, strongly class-conscious development. But corporate media are doing what they can to keep the news from getting out.
“At one of our most difficult and vulnerable moments, Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (the National Farmworker Women’s Alliance) sent us a powerful and compassionate message of solidarity, for which we are deeply grateful,” the women write.
Alianza sent its letter when stories of Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein’s sexual harassment was just hitting the media. Hollywood women and their supporters were holding their breaths to see whether they would get support or just be pushed aside.
“To the members of Alianza and farmworker women across the country, we see you, we thank you,” they write, “and we acknowledge the heavy weight of our common experience of being preyed upon, harassed, and exploited by those who abuse their power and threaten our physical and economic security.”
Their celebrity, they know, is what has brought media attention to sexual attacks and harassment they have suffered, attention “that farm-worker women and countless individuals employed in other industries have not been afforded.”
They pledge to use their media access “to lift up the voices, power, and strength of women working in low-wage industries where the lack of financial stability makes them vulnerable to high rates of gender-based violence and exploitation.”
They have also set up a $13 million Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund to help survivors of sexual assault and harassment — “across all industries” — “to challenge those responsible for the harm against them and give voice to their experiences.”
At the annual Golden Globes Awards, almost all of the women actresses wore black to show their solidarity. The winner of best supporting actress, Laura Dern (“Big Little Lies”) brought the president of Alianza, Monica Ramirez, up with her to accept the award.