The Duchess of Cambridge has given just a nod to the Time’s Up movement in a sombre dark green dress with black sash, as she eschews an unofficial all-black dress code for this year’s Bafta ceremony.
The Duchess has been presented with a difficult dilemma ahead of the awards, after actresses and industry leaders circulated a letter asking attendees to wear black.
Members of the Royal Family are supposed to avoid all political statements, leaving the Duchess with a stark choice between being accused of overstepping her position or being the only woman wearing colour.
In the event, she took the middle ground, wearing a dark green Jenny Packham gown with a black sash to blend in with the dark dress code.
Neither the Duke or the Duchess appeared to be wearing the Time’s Up lapel pin, which many others had donned to walk the the red carpet. A spokesman for Kensington Palace did not comment on the choice.
It comes after nearly 200 women in the film industry have already signed an open letter demanding the eradication of sexual harassment from across all industries, using Bafta as a moment to “celebrate this tremendous moment of solidarity and unity”.
Signatories including Emma Watson, Gemma Arterton, Olivia Colman, Emma Thompson, Naomie Harris, and Jodie Whittaker called on women to use their “collective power” to propel the Time’s Up movement, arguing high-profile stars “need to use our power as communicators and connectors to shift the way society sees and treats us”.
The letter reads: “In the very near past, we lived in a world where sexual harassment was an uncomfortable joke; an unavoidable awkward part of being a girl or a woman.
“It was certainly not to be discussed, let alone addressed. In 2018, we seem to have woken up in a world ripe for change. If we truly embrace this moment, a line in the sand will turn to stone.”
A letter circulated to female nominees weeks ahead of the awards show urged stars to follow the example of the Golden Globes, to leave a room full of women in all-black as a “strong, unifying and simple statement”.
The protest was not reserved for dresses alone: in a move mirroring the Golden Globes last month, actresses including Arterton, Harris, Andrea Riseborough, Gemma Chan, and Tessa Thompson were accompanied by campaigners.
Their guests include Laura Bates who founded the Everyday Sexism project, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, co-founder of UK Black Pride, and Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, two of the ‘Dagenham Girls’ who walked out of a Ford Motor Company plant after learning they were being paid less than their male counterparts in 1968.
The evening is expected to be highly politicised, with award winners using their speeches to campaign for their favourite causes.
Kristin Scott Thomas, nominated for her portrayal of Clementine Churchill in Darkest Hour, said of Time’s Up: “We need equality now – I think their slogan is absolutely right. I haven’t stopped talking about this since it all started. Now it’s a question of moving it from conversation to action.
“I think I’ll be optimistic once this is over and the conversation keeps going and the conversation gets bigger and bigger and bigger and actions start happening, words turn into actions, that kind of thing. Then I’ll be allowed to be optimistic.”
She added that, looking back over her career: “I pinch myself, looking back. Why did I let myself do that? I get cross and angry, retrospectively.”
Andrea Riseborough, who walked the red carpet with activist Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, said those backing the Time’s Up movement hope to get across “the idea that when all of this stops we all remember that this is an important cause and that we should carry on the conversation”.
She added: “From my perspective, when we get to do anything like this it kind of makes these things worthwhile. I’m here tonight to stand in solidarity with every woman, every person in the world who has suffered sexual abuse in the workplace.”
Gemma Arterton walked the red carpet with Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis, two of the 187 “Dagenham Girls” who walked out of the Ford Motor Company’s Dagenham plant in June 1968 after learning their work was classified as unskilled – leaving their pay 15 per cent below that of their male counterparts.
Arterton, who starred in a musical version of their story, said: “They’re amazing because they really started the equal pay movement in the UK.
“I thought it was really fitting and I’m really happy and proud that I’m with Gwen and Eileen because they represent a normal person speaking up for what is actually right. The main thing we want to say tonight is we’re here, we’re here for you and we will listen.”
Pippa Harris, the vice chair of Bafta, said the ceremony would be different this year, thanks to the unofficial black dress code and Joanna Lumley, its first solo female presenter in more than 20 years.
Harris, who signed the open letter herself, said: “I’m personally delighted that they have used the ceremony to bring more attention to what we’re doing, it’s entirely laudable that they’re doing that.”
Amanda Berry, CEO of Bafta, has previously indicated that awards organisers are braced for speeches about the Hollywood harassment scandal.
“It often has [been used as a platform] in the past, I think in different years there have been different issues,” she said after nominations were announced.
“People obviously feel it’s a very powerful platform. The film awards go out globally so that makes it even more powerful, so we never say to people don’t say anything, please just thank the crew or whatever it is. “Because if somebody feels passionately about it, they are going to say it.
“There has been a lot of conversation to date and obviously that conversation continues, awards season shines a very bright spotlight on that conversation.”
Article Source : http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/02/18/duchess-cambridge-wears-green-black-sash-nod-times-movement/