Billie Piper – former star of Doctor Who and Secret Diary of a Call Girl – has spoken out against the “sickening” way some agents in the film and TV industry allow their clients to be abused.
Speaking in the Sunday Times Style magazine about the #MeToo movement, which raises awareness of the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment, Piper said: “I find the abuse of power really upsetting, but if I’m honest, what I find really sickening is all the agents subjecting their clients to it, knowing full well what’s going on. Like sanctioned pimping."
The former singer added: “But at the same time, it comes in many shapes and sizes. It’s not just about [people in power] grabbing a t**, or saying, ‘Show me your d***.’ Let’s say I know a lot of headstrong actors and actresses wanting to get something, who wouldn’t say they’re victims of this.”
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The actor, who was voted the most popular Doctor Who companion ever by RadioTimes.com readers, also addressed the subject of feminism more generally, saying she was “not sure how much we have moved on” in terms of society’s image of women.
“A lot of social media is about women looking really oversexed,” she explained. “That doesn’t feel like feminism to me. Like, this whole thing of ‘I’m liberated enough to bare my a***’ doesn’t remotely cut it with me.”
Plus, Piper said she has her “reservations” of “the whole sisterhood thing” online. “Under the guise of being all supportive and there for each other, women can be very judgy and competitive, especially on social media,” she said. “The emotions are the same, it’s just the semantics that have changed.”
Piper, who picked up an Olivier award for her performance in play Yerma, will soon be returning to our TV screens in BBC2 thriller Collateral, alongside Cary Mulligan and former Who co-star John Simm.
Set over the course of four days, the four-part drama explores the spiralling repercussions surrounding the fatal shooting of a pizza deliveryman.
Collateral starts Monday, February 12 at 9pm on BBC2.