Emma Watson has donated £1 million to The Justice And Equality Fund, which aims to tackle sexual harassment in the workplace.
As well as her donation, Emma is one of around 200 British actresses who have co-signed a letter of support for the Time’s Up movement, ahead of tonight’s (18 February) Baftas, where all attendees will wear black outfits in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse and harassment.
She told the Observer: “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.”
Among those to have co-signed the letter are Oscar-winner Emma Thompson, ‘Doctor Who’ star Jodie Whittaker and ‘Moonlight’ actress Naomie Harris.
The letter - published in the Observer - reads:
Dear Sisters, A little over a month ago Time’s Up was launched. You may have noticed women wearing black on the red carpet. You might have seen women coming forward to share their stories of harassment. Maybe you identified with some of the stories these women shared. You might have seen #MeToo. You may have said, “Me too”.
So, what is our industry’s role in promoting a vision of an equal society? We believe it is huge. We believe we need to use our power as communicators and connectors to shift the way society sees and treats us. We need to examine the kind of womanhood our industry promotes and sells to the world.
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.
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 galvanise others.
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.
As well as wearing black dresses on the Baftas red carpet, several British actresses will also attend the ceremony with activists from various fields, as stars previously did at the Golden Globes last month.
Since its inception earlier this year, it was recently reported that Time’s Up had raised $20 million already, with the money helping to cover legal costs for those who have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace.