Doctor Who actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw praised Hollywood’s Time’s Up movement for building a “wonderful sense of community” among women as she received an MBE at Buckingham Palace.
The British film star, who won accolades for her role in 2013 period drama Belle, said she can now “feel the difference” in the television industry after the sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and the start of the Me Too movement.
“Women are owning their space and it’s a really exciting time for women in the industry,” she told the Press Association after collecting her honour from the Prince of Wales.
Gugulethu Mbatha-Raw receives her MBE from the Prince of Wales (Yui Mok/PA)
“It’s great to see the power dynamic being addressed. What is wonderful about everything that has been shifting in Hollywood is that it’s giving a reason for women in the industry to unite together, and actually it’s building a wonderful sense of community and activism.”
The actress, who started out playing Shakespeare roles in Manchester before moving to the West End and on to television, added that she “can’t wait” to see her fellow stars wearing black at the forthcoming Bafta Awards, a symbol of support for Time’s Up.
“I think it’s really important to keep the media and the world focused on the development of the women’s movement,” she said.
“The Baftas (are) the first European awards show of the year since everything has been shifting in America. So I think it’s a sign that this is a global movement, not just an American one.”
Pamela Butcher receives her MBE from Charles (Yui Mok/PA)
Mbatha-Raw, 34, starred alongside Emma Watson last year in Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty And The Beast, and praised Watson’s role in the Time’s Up movement.
“Seeing her spearheading the Time’s Up movement in the UK is really exciting,” she said. “We’ve talked about it and I’m a great fan of her work and also her activism.”
The actress, who grew up in Oxfordshire, added that she was delighted to learn during the ceremony that Charles “is a Doctor Who fan”.
“It was amazing to meet him,” she said. “He remembered that I did Doctor Who, and I was like ‘Wow, the Prince of Wales is a Doctor Who fan’.”
Paralympic rower Rachel Morris also received an MBE (Steve Parsons/PA)
Other guests at Thursday’s investiture ceremony included Pamela Butcher, the 88-year-old table tennis world champion, who said she was “very proud” to receive her MBE and hoped it would show that age was no barrier to competing in sport.
Paralympic rower Rachel Morris, who won gold at the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games, was also presented with an MBE and said she hoped it would inspire disabled young people to go into sport.
Isaac Julien, an artist known for his films about black British identity, received a CBE and said he was “incredibly excited” to see Meghan Markle, who is mixed race, entering the royal family.