Exactly one year after the original Women’s March last year, another global female-led protest has gone viral, with women and men all over the world taking part in the global Time’s Up march against sexual abuse this past weekend.
The last 12 months have been a giant kick in the teeth for women – from the unearthing of the shocking gender pay gap statistics to the mass unveiling of sexual harassment and abuse across various industries in recent months – with the rally providing a platform to call for change. And as the Time’s Up movement started in the entertainment industry, it’s hardly surprising that high-profile names and faces were spearheading the rally, using it to send a very clear message.
This was definitely the case in Los Angeles, where Scarlett Johansson, flanked by fellow A-list actress and friend Mila Kunis, took her moment on stage to call out actor James Franco for misconduct.
‘How could a person publicly stand by an organisation that helps to provide support for victims of sexual assault while privately preying on people who have no power?’ she announced to the 500 000-strong crowd. ‘I want my pin back, by the way.’
Fans speculated on social media and Scarlett’s reps later confirmed that her comments had been aimed at James Franco, who was criticised just weeks ago for wearing a Time’s Up pin to the Golden Globes just days before facing sexual misconduct allegations of his own – all of which he has denied.
‘I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done,’ the Disaster Artist actor explained on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. ‘The things that I’ve heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice, because they didn’t have a voice for so long.’
During her Women’s March speech, 33-year-old Scarlett then continued to talk about her own experiences of misconduct.
‘Suddenly I was 19 again and I began to remember all the men who had taken advantage of the fact that I was a young woman who didn’t yet have the tools to say no, or understand the value of my own self-worth,’ she explained. ‘I had many relationships, both personal and professional, where the power dynamic was so off that I had to create a narrative that I was the cool girl who could hang in and hang out, and that sometimes meant compromising what felt right for me.’
She continued: ‘No more pandering. No more feeling guilty about hurting someone’s feelings when something doesn’t feel right for me. I have made a promise to myself to be responsible to myself, that in order to trust my instincts I must first respect them.’
Via Marie Claire UK