London, Feb 19 (IANS) A group of female protesters wearing ‘Time’s Up’ T-shirts invaded the red carpet at the 71st British Academy Film Awards organised by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), here.
The women were dressed in black as part of the ‘BAFTA blackout’, chanting “sisters, united, we’ll never be defeated” outside London’s Royal Albert Hall where the gala was held on Sunday night, reports dailymail.co.uk.
They hijacked the Time’s Up movement – which came to the fore in the wake of the Hollywood sexual harassment scandal, by wearing ‘Time’s Up Theresa’ t-shirts.
Protesting against domestic violence and calling on the British Prime Minister Theresa May, to do more, they linked arms and laid on the red carpet. They were later ushered away by security guards.
A group of activists from Sisters Uncut jumped onto the carpet as celebrities were arriving at the ceremony wearing t-shirts declaring “Time’s Up Theresa.”
While laying on the red carpet, they chanted “the DV Bill’s a cover-up, Theresa May your time is up.”
May has made clear that she intends the Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Ratification of Convention) Act 2017, which is still under consultation in Parliament, to bring in tougher sentences and “deliver more convictions” for domestic violence.
The activists were later ushered out by the security.
The award ceremony was dominated with discussion of the the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, calling for an end to gender inequality and sexual harassment.
The protesters – wearing trainers, black tracksuit bottoms and dark hoodies over their t-shirts – were from a group called Sisters Uncut. They describe themselves as a feminist group taking direct action for domestic violence services.
One of the protesters Ana Kaur said: “We are in solidarity with the Time’s Up campaign. We recognise that gender-based violence happens everywhere, and that to disclose abuse requires support. As well as calling Time’s Up on individual perpetrators, we have to call Time’s Up on our government for failing to provide us with real options and support.”
Sisters Uncut said that these measures skirt the government’s responsibility to support all survivors of domestic violence, leaving them locked up in prison, locked out of refuges, and locked in to violent relationships.
Several female stars brought feminist activists and anti-violence campaigners as guests.
Men showed solidarity with Time’s Up lapel pins.
The Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, defied the Times’s Up protest, by wearing a dark green dress, instead of black worn by the celebrities attending the ceremony.
Film stars and directors made the one-colour statement to show support for the fight against sexual harassment against women, however, only the ribbon around Middleton’s Jenny Packham dress was black.
Kristin Scott Thomas, a supporting actress nominee for “Darkest Hour”, praised the conversation about misconduct that has started in the entertainment industry, but said a tougher task will be “moving it from conversation to action”.