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British Actresses Call For An End To Sexual Harassment Ahead Of The BAFTAs

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Over 190 women working in the British film and entertainment industry have signed an open letter in support of the Time’s Up initiative, demanding an end to sexual harassment ahead of tonight’s BAFTA ceremony.

Emma Watson, Gemma Arterton, Emma Thompson, Naomi Harris and Gemma Chan are amongst those who have added their name to the letter, which was first published in the Observer this morning. At the awards ceremony this evening, it’s thought that many stars will wear black as a sign of solidary with the Time’s Up movement, as seen at the Golden Globes last month.

Opening with ‘Dear Sisters,’ the letter affirms solidarity with the women of Time’s Up and other similar movements worldwide, and acknowledges the importance of its intersectionality, ‘with conversations across race, class, community, ability and work environment, to talk about the imbalance of power.’

‘As we approach the BAFTAs, our industry’s time for celebration and acknowledgement, we hope we can celebrate this tremendous moment of solidarity and unit across borders by coming together and making this movement international,’ it reads.

‘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,’ it continues. ‘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.’

Other signatories include director Amma Asante, Best Actress nominee Saoirse Ronan, Keira Knightley, Emilia Clarke, Sienna Miller, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’s Noma Dumezweni, as well as BAFTA Rising Star nominees Tessa Thompson and Florence Pugh.

As at the Golden Globes, some actresses will be accompanied by activists on the red carpet. Andrea Riseborough will be joined by Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, the co-founder and executive director of UK Black Pride, while Gemma Arterton will attend with former sewing machine operators Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, who were among the workers who staged the 1968 walk out over equal pay at Ford’s Dagenham plant.

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