Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton is leading a charge to make the red carpet at the BAFTA Awards an all-black affair, just like the Golden Globes.
Actresses attending the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards, Britain’s answer to the Oscars, have been asked to wear black to support the Time’s Up and #MeToo anti-harassment movements.
A letter sent to nominees, presenters and their representatives, from “a collective of U.K. based female film and television industry leaders”, and supported by Arterton reads: “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 color for the majority to wear and feel comfortable in.”
The open letter continues: “We wanted to personally reach out to you at this point to let you know of the color 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.”
The awards will take place at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 18 February (18), and nominees include Annette Bening, Frances McDormand, Margot Robbie, Sally Hawkins, Saoirse Ronan, and Kristin Scott Thomas.
Absolutely Fabulous star Joanna Lumley will become the first female to front the awards show since 2001, taking over from Stephen Fry.
Meanwhile, sources tell WWD.com the decision for stars to wear black to the event has left stylists and designers scrambling to find replacement gowns for many top stars, who had chosen to add a splash of color to the red carpet.
This year’s BAFTA Awards will take place during London Fashion Week, putting further pressure on designers connected to the ceremony.
A spokesman for the awards show tells WWD the BAFTA organization does not dictate a dress code and people are free to wear what they want to the ceremony.