BAFTA stars ‘passionately’ back Time’s Up campaign

BAFTA stars ‘passionately’ back Time’s Up campaign

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The issues of inequality and sexual harassment have been brought to the fore this awards season following the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

And the push for change continued at the BAFTA TV Awards, where stars of the small screen chose to wear black as well as Time’s Up badges in support of the movement.

Host Sue Perkins opened the ceremony at London’s Royal Festival Hall by joking about the gender pay gap.

“I don’t want to ignore the elephant in the room but it would be crass and inappropriate to discuss my fee so let’s just say I’m going to be putting in half the effort.”

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Alluding to the raft of sexual harassment allegations made against high-profile figures in the TV and film industry, the comedian hailed the casting of Jodie Whittaker as the first female lead in Doctor Who, saying: “I think Jodie is the perfect choice… if anyone has experience fighting off grotesque monsters, it’s an actress.”

The 35-year-old taking on the role breaks a tradition which dates back to the start of the television series in 1963.

Her casting was largely viewed positively by fans and commentators, but some on social media argued the part should not be played by a woman.

Whittaker turned up at the ceremony wearing a Time’s Up badge and also a ring featuring the words “Actresses For Equal Representation”, with “50/50” emblazoned in the centre.

She said to throw her support behind the campaign was “a no-brainer”.

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“To be part of something that supports the end of sexual harassment, bullying, sexual assault in any place of work, in any part of someone’s day, is vital,” the actress said.

“It needs no explanation for me and to be a voice that is able to be heard in some ways, I count myself very lucky, that if you can say something, you do, and I’m very passionately supporting it.”

The Crown star Claire Foy spoke of the “shame and embarrassment” she felt after it was revealed she was paid less than her co-star Matt Smith.

But the 34-year-old actress, who played Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix series, said she was proud the issue had helped others.

She said: “I’ve spoken to people whose pay has gone up as a direct result of what I earn being put everywhere and that made me think it doesn’t really matter what I think about it.

“My embarrassment about it, or my kind of shame or embarrassment of people talking about my worth and how much I earn, is nothing compared to the fact that then if people are now aware, people are not going to be able to make those mistakes again or make those decisions again, and if that’s what’s good comes out of it then I am very proud of it.”

Foy, who also sported a Time’s Up pin on her white dress, added: “The UK Time’s Up campaign is finding its feet.

“All my friends who are in all sorts of different industries talk about it constantly now and it’s just really amazing because a woman couldn’t have those conversations five years ago, so it’s brilliant.”

Line of Duty star Thandie Newton said: “I’ve faced a lot of difficulty and animosity because I was someone who did speak out about sexual violence in the industry and who was trying to rally support from people around me, but it was just, I don’t know, it was just the wrong time for it.

“But look, the important thing is that there is more focus, there’s more awareness, and I’m thrilled that it’s going to help people in the future, undoubtedly.”

The Great British Bake Off’s Sandi Toksvig said of the issue: “I’ve been fighting inequality my entire life. We can’t be fighting about this any more.

“There is still an issue. If you think about me hosting a show, there’s hardly any of us doing that, there’s hardly any women in those positions, and honestly, it’s not as difficult as they made out.

“They give you the answers beforehand and those cards with the questions on are not as heavy as I was led to believe, so it’s perfectly possible for a woman to be a host.”

(c) Sky News 2018: BAFTA stars ‘passionately’ back Time’s Up campaign