A few weeks ago, we reported that a campaign was afoot to have women wear all black at tonight’s BAFTA Film Awards in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement in the U.S. This weekend, two letters have gone out in support of Time’s Up, and some British actresses will be walking the BAFTA red carpet at the Royal Albert Hall in a few hours alongside activists. Actors and activists have also collaborated this weekend to support the UK Justice and Equality Fund, the Observer reports. This is a new body that will provide a network of expert advice, support and advocacy organizations across the UK. Harry Potter star Emma Watson has already donated £1M.
Watson said, “It’s easy to dismiss harassment and abuse as being caused by ‘one or two really, really bad men’ but the UK statistics point to a much bigger and more structural problem. This issue is systemic, as opposed to individual, one-off events. More than half of all women, and nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24, say they have experienced sexual harassment at work. One in five women in England and Wales have experienced some type of sexual assault after the age of 16. This should not be tolerated and cannot and should not be our norm. We can do better than this.”
The fund went live this morning. Donations can be made here.
As for BAFTA, the org along with the BFI, recently set out anti-bullying and harassment guidelines.
Tonight, Andrea Riseboroughn Gemma Arterton, Naomie Harris, Gemma Chan and Tessa Thompson will be joined by activists “to show solidarity with people across all industries who have experienced inequality and abuse.”
The UK campaign has in part been led by Arterton, and today, the Observer quotes the actress saying, “We’re pressing for change in our industry, and we welcome the fact the UK industry has come together and developed principles and guidance which puts tackling harassment in the workplace on the agenda for everyone. We are only now waking up to the full scale of systematic abuse, inequity and sexual harassment based on gender and power — abuse that hurts us all. Today we stand in unity with others in zero tolerance of this abuse.”
It’s notable that this is all happening on BAFTA night, a night previously dominated by Harvey Weinstein — if not always by the number of statues he walked away with, then at least by the annual TWC post-ceremony party being the hottest ticket in town.