The British TV stars who brought TIME’S UP to the BAFTAs
British TV stars brought the TIME’S UP movement to the British Academy Television Awards (BAFTAs) on Sunday to call time on sexual harassment, abuse and gender inequality
Leading women from the TV industry – including Hayley Atwell, Millie Brady, Alexa Davies, Wallis Day, Claire Foy, Anna Hall, Liv Hill, Sharon Horgan, Vanessa Kirby, Alex Lawther, Philippa Lowthorpe, Wunmi Mosaku, Cathy Newman, Ella Purnell, Charlotte Riley, Jodie Whittaker, Gabriella Wilde, Molly Windsor, and Ria Zmitrowicz – brought the TIME’S UP movement to the BAFTAs to call time on sexual harassment and inequality. Some were accompanied by guests who sit at the heart of the real-life events depicted in the nominated programmes, people who support women who have experienced violence and persecution.
The makers of the multi-award winning Three Girls, which shone a spotlight on child sexual abuse in Rochdale for the BBC, were accompanied by Maggie Oliver, the ex-Detective who investigated the case. She later resigned in order to speak out publicly and has become a vocal critic of how police handled the case. Nominated Channel 4 documentary Catching a Killer, focused on mother of three, Natalie Hemming who was killed by her ex-partner. To highlight the issue of domestic violence and the fight for justice, its director Anna Hall was accompanied by Natalie’s sister, Jo Beverley. ITV’s Broadchurch star and nominee Jodie Whittaker was joined by activist Tracey Parsons from the Dorset Rape Crisis Centre, who worked closely with the production team on the rape storyline featured in the last season.
Nominees and guests who attended the ceremony highlighted numerous issues affecting both the TV industry and wider society, from the gender pay gap and the lack of ethnic diversity behind and on-screen, to domestic violence and child sex abuse. TV executives attending were also armed with facts about issues closer to home, harassment and discrimination among them. A recent Edinburgh TV Festival survey of more than 300 men and women in the industry revealed 71% had experienced bullying, with 54% saying they were sexually abused, and BAFTA and the BFI have launched new guidelines to help combat such behaviour.
Another debate currently raging in the industry centres around the lack of opportunities for female writers to write for the biggest primetime shows. More than 70 women, whose credits include high-profile series such as EastEnders, Midsomer Murders and How to Get Away with Murder, said British drama was “overwhelmingly written by men” in an open letter to TV commissioners in February. Now the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain is set to add fuel to the fire by publishing a major report in the next fortnight on the challenges facing female writers in film and television across a 10-year period. Figures revealed exclusively to TIME’S UP, reveal that between 2001 and 2016, only 18% of TV programmes were written by predominantly female writing teams. Even more alarmingly, the same report reveals that of over 200 working writers polled, only 5% agreed that “the way writers are hired, and scripts are commissioned, is fair and free from discrimination.”
The women powering the development of a TIME’S UP movement in the UK are asking people to donate to the new Justice and Equality Fund, which supports people affected by these issues. The Fund is managed by Rosa, the UK's leading women's fund, and has raised £1.6 million since it was launched with a donation from Emma Watson in February. More details here - https://www.gofundme.com/Justice-and-Equality-Fund