Bafta stars asked to wear black for #TimesUp sexual harassment protest

The industry's biggest names are expected to follow in the footsteps of the Golden Globes with a red carpet blackout

Golden Globes red carpet, Getty, SL

Following suit from the dark dress-code of the Golden Globes, the film industry’s biggest names are expected to take to the Bafta red carpet in black this year. Stars following the attire will be showing “global solidarity” to those who have come forward with accounts of sexual harassment in Hollywood and elsewhere.

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“Inspired by the TIME’S UP movement in the US, we are working to continue the incredible movement this side of the Atlantic,” reads a letter sent by films and TV actresses and industry executives (published by The Hollywood Reporter).

It continues: “we feel it is important to make a statement to show global solidarity and that the issue is not being forgotten, and to join hands with people across all industries who have experienced inequality and abuse.”

The letter goes on to highlight that nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24 have experienced sexual harassment at work in the UK. It says the black red carpet could raise awareness to women “whose experiences are often silenced and marginalized”.

Men were also invited to join the movement, with “special pins and/or a button hole”.

The letter in full reads:

Dear BAFTA Guest,

We write to you on behalf of a collective of UK based female film and television industry leaders. We got together at the end of last year, in response to the sexual harassment scandals in our industry and beyond.

Inspired by the TIME’S UP movement in the US, we are working to continue the incredible movement this side of the Atlantic. With BAFTA being the first major film awards ceremony in Europe this year, we feel it is important to make a statement to show global solidarity and that the issue is not being forgotten, and to join hands with people across all industries who have experienced inequality and abuse.

This is why we are inviting you to wear black to the awards ceremony, to follow suit from our sisters who attended the Golden Globes. Wearing black is a strong, unifying and simple statement – a physical and visual representation of our solidarity with people across all industries who have experienced sexual harassment and abuse or have been held back due to an imbalance in power. It is also the easiest colour for the majority to wear and feel comfortable in.

Here in the UK, more than half of all women and nearly two-thirds of women aged 18 to 24 have experienced sexual harassment at work. And we hope that those of us who are privileged enough to have a platform, can use it to raise awareness of the experiences of women beyond our industry, whose experiences are often silenced and marginalized.

At this point, we are keeping things under wraps as the UK-side movement shapes up and we’ll have some exciting plans to announce soon.

We wanted to personally reach out to you at this point to let you know of the colour code and we will be in touch again with more information, including talking points on why we’re wearing black.

For men, there are plans for special pins and/or a buttonhole if you would like one.

If you would be interested in bringing a women’s rights, equality, workplace rights activist with you to the awards, we would love to work with you to set that up – as it was a very successful part of the Golden Globes action.

In Solidarity.

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The Bafta Film awards will take place Sunday 18 February. The Bafta TV awards will take place 13 May.