Emma Watson has reflected on the work of the Time’s Up initiative, a year on from its inception.
The ‘Harry Potter’ actress is one of several big-name celebrities who has been heavily involved in the Time’s Up movement, which was born in January 2018 as a way of raising awareness of sexual abuse in the workplace, and helping those affected by the issue.
It was created as a response to the Me Too movement, which itself was a reaction to the many accusations of sexual harassment and assault levelled against a number of key figures in the entertainment industry, including film mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Posting a photo of herself in a Time’s Up t-shirt on Instagram, Emma wrote: “Thank you to everyone who has been part of Time’s Up over the past year. From my sisters in the film industry to the activists and campaigners around the world who have supported us, I’ve been so inspired by the way people have reached out to each other, shared experiences and advice, and organised together as part of this movement for change.
“Gender equality can only become a reality if we harness the transformative power of solidarity across professions and across borders.”
She continued: “There’s still a long way to go, but the achievements so far make me optimistic for a fairer future. 2018 was just the beginning.”
In a separate post, Emma said that the launch of the Justice and Equality Fund – the British equivalent of the Legal Defence Fund, which aims to help with legal fees for those who have experienced sexual abuse in the workplace – is one of the things that makes her most proud to have been involved in the Time’s Up movement.
“The JEF offers much-needed funds to existing expert services and to grassroots activism,” Emma wrote. “Many people don’t realise that very basic services which protect and care for women in the UK are under threat, and it’s incredible the difference the fund has made in a short space of time.
“The Justice and Equality Fund (JEF) has already resourced the vital work of organisations like London Black Women’s Project, who provide specialist support to women of colour and migrant survivors of abuse, and Rights of Women, who will resource a free and confidential helpline led by women lawyers offering legal advice to women experiencing sexual harassment.
“The JEF has also supported keeping the Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre for England and Wales helpline open and is resourcing the first rape crisis service provision in Northern Ireland in 12 years.”
The Time’s Up movement received particular attention during awards season in 2018, when at both the Baftas and Golden Globes, nominees were seen attending the respective ceremonies in all-black outfits, as a show of solidarity with the survivors of sexual abuse.
At the Grammys and Brit Awards, meanwhile, stars posed on the red carpet holding white roses, while Kesha’s rendition of ‘Praying’ at the former was seen as a stand-out moment, as she and many other women across generations in the music industry performed together while dressed in white.