With the BAFTA Awards happening last night, the awards ceremony was used as a platform for a number of actresses to show their solidarity against the ongoing epidemic of sexual misconduct in Hollywood and beyond. Over 200 actresses and organizations signed an open letter, while over 190 of those women also set up a fund called the UK Justice and Equality Fund just before the big event, with actress Emma Watson donating 1 million pounds (GBP) to the cause. Here's an excerpt from the open letter below, which was also signed by Carey Mulligan, Saoirse Ronan, Gemma Chan and Keira Knightley.
"There is no question that Time's Up should be and will be a global movement. A movement that is defined and led by those affected by the problem, not by those in power.As we approach the Baftas - our industry's time for celebration and acknowledgment, we hope we can celebrate this tremendous moment of solidarity and unity across borders by coming together and making this movement international. Perhaps Time's Up seems a million miles away to you - started by a group of women with privilege. The truth is, we are all workers, and whether we're in the limelight or in the shadows, our voices matter. With our collective power, we can galvanize others."
The organization was also founded by 160 academics, activists and charity workers, and several of the actresses wore black when atteding the BAFTA awards. Much like the actresses at the Golden Globes who took activists as their dates to the awards ceremony, several of the UK actresses did the same, such as Gemma Arterton, who took Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, two of the 187 women who staged a walk-out at Ford's Dagenham factory, after learning they were to be paid 15 cents less than their male counterparts. Here's the final excerpt of the open letter below.
"As we approach the Baftas, our industry's time for celebration and acknowledgment, we hope we can celebrate this tremendous moment of solidarity and unity across borders by coming together and making this movement international. Perhaps Time's Up seems a million miles away to you, started by a group of women with privilege. The truth is, we are all workers, and whether we're in the limelight or in the shadows, our voices matter. With our collective power, we can galvanize others. In the very near past, we lived in a world where sexual harassment was an uncomfortable joke; an unavoidable, awkward part of being a girl or a woman. It was certainly not to be discussed, let alone addressed. In 2018, we seem to have woken up in a world ripe for change. If we truly embrace this moment, a line in the sand will turn to stone. This moment has already raised a staggering $21m for an American Time's Up legal defence fund. But women all over the world need support and funding in order to be able to fight injustice. The revolution we want and need cannot happen without this resourcing. So, we invite you to join us in donating to the new UK justice and equality fund, to spread the word to others and be a catalyst for change. Everyone can make a difference by using your platform, your voice and your power as a changemaker. Finally, we are talking to each other, talking to our employers, our unions, our male allies and challenging our perpetrators and their enablers. Where there was isolation and silence in the film industry there is now connection and voice. Where there was internalisation and self-blame, there is now self-analysis and interrogation. We are connecting and partnering with our fellow workers, women and men, in a truly transformational way. Such unity has been inspirational for all of us. We want you to be part of this. If you have said "time's up", if the stories you have read in the papers have resonated and distressed you - join us in shifting the dial. Let's make 2018 the year that time was up on sexual harassment and abuse. This is your moment too."
The Me Too and Times Up movements will also most likely be showcased in the United States during the Oscar ceremony, which will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel next month. It isn't clear if other actresses plan on following in Emma Watson's footsteps by donating to this important cause. You can head over to The Independent for more on this movement.