Emma Watson Shares Her Thoughts On New Sexual Harassment Guidelines

Actress Emma Watson opened up about the British Film Institute's sexual harassment stance.

Emma Watson, BFI, BAFTA, sexual harassment
Jesse Grant / Getty Images

Actress Emma Watson opened up about the British Film Institute's sexual harassment stance.

While Hollywood is trying to catch up to all of the sexual harassment allegations and discover just how widespread the problem really is, its counterpart in the U.K. has already issued new guidelines. The British Film Institute worked with BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) and other industry organizations to revamp sexual harassment rules. In response, actress Emma Watson commended the efforts and shared her thoughts on what the updated rules mean to her as an actress.

Emma Watson Applauds BFI and BAFTA

In the wake of so many sexual misconduct claims, which encompass everything from harassment to assault, the film industry has taken decisive action in attempting to eliminate future occurrences. Eyewitness News reports that Emma Watson was proud to stand in support of the organizations for establishing the new principles regarding the treatment of women and children on film sets. She said that the new guidelines take into account the unusual work atmosphere and odd hours that can lead to opportunities for predators to take advantage of actors on set.

Emma said that she hopes to see every organization in the film industry adopt these measures, adding that she would like to see a time when the new guidelines become deeply ingrained into the minds of everyone. The 27-year-old actress added that the updated rules don’t just protect against sexual misconduct, but also promote wider acceptance of diversity in the industry.

“I hope these principles become second nature for everyone,” said Ms. Watson. “They are not just about protecting individuals, but are also an important step in embracing a greater diversity of voices and eventually having an entertainment industry that actually represents the world we live in.”

Guidelines Were Long Overdue

BBC reports, the new guidelines take workplace safety seriously by establishing a policy that states the British Film Institute will only back projects that sign on to adhere to these new principles. Part of those guidelines require that every production set retains two individuals to deal with allegations and issues of misconduct as they occur. Additionally, every set must also provide access to a support hotline.

In all, there is a list of eight guidelines to which film studios must adhere, if they expect support and financial backing from the organizations involved in drafting the principles. The rules don’t just apply to film sets, but also to the production of television shows and sporting events. Amanda Berry, who serves as BAFTA’s chief executive, says the rules have been established to ensure everyone has a safe workplace environment in which to thrive. The new principles establish a zero tolerance for harassment and bullying.

Following the public release of the new guidelines, Ms. Berry added that the response from the film industry has been overwhelmingly positive and supportive.

Emma Watson adds that there have previously been no real protocols for dealing with sexual harassment allegations. She says she has requested such guidelines in the past, but no one was able to provide her with information.

“No one could send me – ‘Okay, here’s the protocol that we follow, when someone’s had this experience’ – which I found shocking,” said Emma Watson.

In addition to Ms. Watson, several actors and filmmakers had been consulted about the formation of the new guidelines. Those consulted included Jodie Whittaker, Gemma Arterton, Gemma Chan, and Barbara Broccoli.