Emma Watson is taking the fight against sexual assault and sexual harassment home to the U.K., and it’s about dang time.
For some time now, the Time’s Up movement has largely been focused here in the United States, with female actors making great efforts to bring attention to a culture and behaviors that promote sexual assault and sexual harassment. They’ve shown up on red carpets, released a manifesto, banded together and fundraised a whole heck of a lot of dough in order to donate to the legal funds of women who are fighting similar threats in court. Now, Watson is helping to get the Time’s Up movement on its feet back home and is making a major charitable donation to help the cause.
Over the long holiday weekend, which was also the weekend of the BAFTAs in the U.K., news broke via the BBC that Watson had donated the equivalent of $1.4 million to the U.K.’s Justice and Equality Fund. While it’s certainly not uncommon for Watson to do something charitable and helpful, this might arguably be one of her most charitable efforts to date.
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There is no question that #TIMESUP 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. Tessa Thompson with Marai Larasi from Imkaan. Gemma Arterton with Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, two of the women who staged a three week walk-out from Ford’s Dagenham plant in 1968. Andrea Riseborough with Phyll Opoku-Gyimah from UK Black Pride. Naomie Harris with journalist Afua Hirsch. Gemma Chan with activist Laura Bates.🖤
The donation came on the heels of a group of 200 women working in the U.K. film industry (including Watson) signing a letter that was published in the The Observer stating why they were bringing the movement to the U.K. and women attending the BAFTAs adopting the recent trend of wearing all black on the BAFTAs red carpet to raise awareness about sexual assault and sexual harassment.
“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,” the original letter read, with a second letter further expounding on this idea. “For each woman in the entertainment industry who has spoken out, there are thousands of women whose stories go unheard […] These are not isolated incidents. This is about power and inequality, and it is systemic.”
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All of us are responsible for creating change, whatever industry you work in. We're asking everyone to help create a world we can be proud of – one that is safe, just and equal. Please join us and donate to the new Justice and Equality Fund, which will support frontline organisations that are working to end a culture where harassment and abuse are commonplace. Together we can spread our message, support the strong people of all genders who are taking such personal risks, and make sure that this is one of those watershed moments in history where things never go back to the way they were before. This is the moment we stand together and say. #TIMESUP. We hope you’ll stand with us.
There’s no denying Watson is playing an integral part in helping to take the message of Time’s Up worldwide, as one would hope. Thankfully, she is being joined by a multitude of British women who also support this cause, creating a whole new community to help combat these injustices — which is one hope she gave voice to back in January on the Golden Globes red carpet. “I think that there’s just been this incredible breakthrough on this, and women are talking to one another and we’re forming communities, and we feel so strong together,” she said, and it couldn’t feel truer.