Writer Stassa Edwards noted in feminist blog Jezebel a few months later, “celebrities aren’t average women applying for average jobs; their wages are not being depressed and driven down like the rest of the nation’s. [W]e are settling instead for a trickle-down story, effectively telling the women most impacted by the wage gap to wait your turn; we’ll get around to you once we fix the Hollywood wage gap.”

A similar situation transpired when the #MeToo movement emerged shortly after the Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey stories came out in October 2017. Then—as in 2015—working-class women also felt left behind and asked their high-paid Hollywood sisters, “What about us?”

Their ask was a broad as it was loud, demanding support from Hollywood actresses and asking them to publicly acknowledge their their privilege. In November 2017, an open letter from 700,000 female farmworkers was published in Time detailing an endemic harassment culture in working-class professions—and not just in Hollywood.

“We wish that we could say we’re shocked to learn that this is such a pervasive problem in your industry,” the letter from Alianza Nacional de Campesinas said. “Sadly, we’re not surprised because it’s a reality we know far too well. Countless farmworker women across our country suffer in silence because of the widespread sexual harassment and assault that they face at work.”

The letter ended with a bold statement of support: “In these moments of despair, and as you cope with scrutiny and criticism because you have bravely chosen to speak out against the harrowing acts that were committed against you, please know that you’re not alone. We believe and stand with you.”

Hollywood took note—and action—this time. And the benefit will hopefully impact women in every industry—and in every economic class.

“Economic equality does not start at the top and work its way down. If anything, it should work bottom up,” Edwards wrote. “Placing value first on America’s most economically disenfranchised women will subsequently make us all more valuable.” Time’s Up Now’s $13 million legal defense fund is an impactful start to Hollywood’s acknowledgments of the plight of lesser privileged men and women.

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