February 18, 2018
Actress and campaigner Emma Watson has donated £1 million to a new campaign aimed at ending sexual harassment in the UK.
The 27-year-old’s representatives confirmed to the Telegraph that she had given the large sum to the UK Justice and Equality Fund three days ago.
The Beauty and the Beast actress has since been joined by other stars including Keira Knightley, Emma Thomspon and Tom Hiddleston, who have donated sums ranging from £10,000 to £500 to the organisation.
Emma Watson donates £1 million to anti-sexual harassment campaign
The fund has been set up with the support of some of UK’s most high profile actors to “end the culture of harassment, abuse and impunity” and aims to raise £2 million via a crowdfunding site.
It is being seen as the UK’s response to the Time’s Up campaign in the US, which emerged out of the sexual abuse allegations against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein.
Emma Watson donates £1 million to anti-sexual harassment campaign
Following the donation, Waston 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.
“More than half of all women, and nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24, say they have experienced sexual harassment at work. One in five women in England and Wales have experienced some type of sexual assault after the age of 16. This should not be tolerated and cannot and should not be our norm. We can do better than this.”
The donation comes after 190 female British and Irish actresses, including Gemma Arterton, Tessa Thompson, Gemma Chan and Jodie Whittaker, signed an open letter calling for an end to sexual harassment and inequality in the workplace.
The signatories are planning to wear black dresses at Sunday night’s Bafta Awards as a sign of solidarity with their American colleagues who held a similar protest at the Golden Globe Awards last month.
The open letter read:“More than half of all women, and nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24, say they have experienced sexual harassment at work. One in five women in England and Wales have experienced some type of sexual assault after the age of 16. This should not be tolerated and cannot and should not be our norm. We can do better than this.
It added: “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.”
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