Keep equality issue ‘burning hot’
Push for fairness must go beyond awards shows, actor says
Benedict Cumberbatch has warned that the discussion surrounding inequality in Hollywood needs to remain “burning hot” all year round, not just at awards ceremonies.
The #TimesUp and #MeToo movements, both created in the wake of the torrent of sexual assault accusations that swept Hollywood in late 2017, dominated the 2018 awards season, with stars choosing a variety of ways, including wearing all black, to show their commitment to the cause.
While glitzy awards bashes have since wound down, Doctor Strange and Sherlock star Cumberbatch says the topic of inequality between the genders should not.
“I run a film company (SunnyMarch), it’s myself and Adam (Ackland) and then all women,” Cumberbatch told British Harper’s Bazaar. “I think it’s about time, and we need to keep the discussion burning hot and not just at awards ceremonies. It’s something that needs to run through our industry at all times of the year to make sure that there is equal pay and a place at the table — equality, that’s what that means.
“The brass tacks of that is still yet to happen, so we need to push for that and great roles for women of all ages is also equally important.”
The Marvel star is pleased to be a part of a franchise that portrays women as powerful characters, and he’s glad that more actresses are being offered superhero roles, naming Brie Larson’s upcoming portrayal of Captain Marvel as a highlight.
“Brie’s not to be mucked around with, she’s a real force of nature and good for exactly what we’re talking about,” he said.
“I think as a practice as whole, as a craft as a whole, as an industry as a whole, it’s been a really shocking wake-up call to go ‘No, this is still really happening behind closed doors.’ #MeToo and #TimesUp — it’s part of what real superheroes do. It’s a collective movement to empowerment and it’s amazing that that can happen. It’s about people, about survivors being strong enough to speak up, and expose themselves to say ‘this really happened to me and it must stop now and I need your support.’ ”