Stars calls for end of sexual harassment ahead of award ceremony — BAFTAs

Emma Watson

The 27-year-old Harry Potter star is worth a whopping £39m ($54.7m), according to last year's Sunday Times Rich List. The fund is backed by hundreds of public figures in the entertainment industry. Previously, stars wore black to the Golden Globe Awards and the trend continued through the BAFTA. The open letter, which also features activists and charity workers, contains almost 200 signatures.

Watson said, "It's easy to dismiss harassment and abuse as being caused by "one or two really, really bad men" but the United Kingdom statistics point to a much bigger and more structural problem".

The letter is addressed to "dear sisters" - as was a similar missive signed by Hollywood stars last month - and calls for an global movement to stamp out a culture of abuse exposed by the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

Other actresses who have signed the letter include Keira Knightley (who has gifted £10,000), Emma Thompson, Jodie Whittaker (the first female Dr Who), Naomie Harris and Gemma Arterton.

It highlights problems in Britain such as the gender pay gap and the changes to work that make it more insecure.

The letter, which was published in the newspaper, The Observer, spoke on the changing political atmosphere, one where women are no longer willing to tolerate harassment as merely a "part of being a woman or girl". "It was certainly not to be discussed, let alone addressed", they wrote. We recognize that the ways in which women in the entertainment industry have been silenced, mirror the ways that women are silenced by individual perpetrators, by companies, by families, by institutions, by communities, and by the state.

They call for "collective power" in bringing the Time's Up movement to workers across all industries "in the limelight or the shadows" to galvanise others and invite supporters to donate to their new fund.

Waston confirmed to The Telegraph that she had made the huge sum to the UK Justice and Equality fund several days ago.

Kate Capshaw and Steven Spielberg's Wunderkinder Foundation donated $2 million; Katie McGrath and Star Trek creator JJ Abrams gave $1 million; and Taylor Swift and Oprah Winfrey each donated $100,000 to the cause.

"As we approach the Baftas, our industry's time for celebration and acknowledgment, we hope we can celebrate this tremendous moment of solidarity and unity across borders by coming together and making this movement worldwide", it says.

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