Emma Watson Donated $1.4 Million in Support of This Anti-Sexual Harassment Campaign
Emma Watson was one of the many vocal actors and activists that first stood behind the Time’s Up movement and now, the star is taking another measure to eradicate harassment.
According to BBC News, the star has donated $1.4 million to the U.K. Justice and Equality Fund, a new fundraiser aimed at fueling new policies that'll put a stop to systematic harassment in the workplace. She shared a video in support of the campaign on social media, explaining why this cause is so important to her.
"My big passion in all of this has been to make sure that this is a global movement. This is about women standing shoulder to shoulder, women and men, across all workplaces because we know that this is happening everywhere," she said, explaining that she couldn't make it to Sunday's 2018 BAFTA Awards, where stars like Angelina Jolie and Salma Hayek wore black in support of the Time's Up movement.
In addition to her donation, Watson joined industry heavyweights like Emilia Clarke, Carey Mulligan, and Naomie Harris in an open letter about sexual harassment to their "sisters" published in The Observer on Sunday. "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," the letter read. "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."
Last week, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the British Film Institute, along with more than 20 U.K. industry organizations, introduced new “Principles and Guidance” designed to put an end to bullying and harassment in the entertainment business and fuel an equal and more diverse environment. Namely, a new 24-hour helpline will be up and running in April, and eight guidelines were written for all industry folk to follow.
Along with actors Gemma Arterton, Jodie Whittaker, and Gemma Chan, Watson offered her support and spoke about why this is important, explaining that the guidelines were written by insiders who understand working “strange, unsociable hours.”
“I hope these principles become second nature for everyone; they are not just about protecting individuals but are also an important step in embracing a greater diversity of voices—and eventually having an entertainment industry that actually represents the world we live in,” she said.
Watson further explained her position in an interview with the BBC, where she explained how surprised she was to learn that victims of harassment working in the entertainment sector had nowhere to turn to.
“These principles are important because up until recently there were no guidelines, there was no protocol for someone that had been sexually harassed in the entertainment industry and I know this to be a fact because I’ve asked for principles, I’ve asked to see guidelines and no one could give them to me,” she said. “No one could send me—‘OK, here’s the protocol that we follow when someone’s had this experience’—which I found shocking.”
Specifically, the guidelines call for choosing two employees (of all genders) both on and off of a film or TV set to learn how to handle allegations, and understand the rights of works. They’ll be trained on helping witnesses vocalize an experience and reporting any criminal action. In addition, the guidelines ask that confidentiality be respected in these instances, and that there are no negative repercussions for those who speak up.
The move comes on the heels of #MeToo and allegations of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry, and in the U.K. specifically. According to CNN, a new report found that one in five people working at Britain’s Parliament said they’ve experienced or seen sexual harassment in the past year. And London police are currently investigating allegations against Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey.
Earlier this month, WWD reported that actresses are planning to wear black to the upcoming 2018 BAFTAs in solidarity of victims of sexual harassment. In January, Watson arrived to the 2018 Golden Globes—where actresses arrived in black to support #MeToo and Time’s Up—with activist Marai Larasi, the executive director of Imkaan, a women’s organization based in the U.K.
"Personally, the chance to bring Marai onto the carpet with me, she has so much wisdom. So much power. So much knowledge. I've learned so much from her about being an intersectional feminist. About Black feminism. I've loved working with Imkaan, which is the organization that she is the executive director of," Watson told InStyle. "And just seeing so many other women standing together in solidarity and unity tonight, like this is an inflection point. This is a moment in history. This feels like, I don't know, I've never been more honored to stand on a red carpet. I really feel that way."