Organisers of the Equal Representation of Actresses campaign have revealed they asked every BAFTA nominee for their public backing.
The organisation, endorsed by Olivia Coleman, James Nesbitt and Phoebe Waller-Bridge was set up to raise awareness to the lack of female roles on screen.
It’s 50:50 logo could be seen pinned to many of the celebrities on Sunday’s BAFTA red carpet, including Kim Cattrall, Jared Harris and worn as a ring by Coleman and Waller-Bridge.
The campaign was initiated in 2015 by actors Elizabeth Berrington and Polly Kemp, attended by over 100 actors, including Olivia Coleman.
Cold Feet actor James Nesbitt announced his support for the cause when presenting an award during Sunday’s BAFTA ceremony.
“For one female role there are three male roles,” he addressed the audience.
“This is an inequality that is not only about our industry, but it is an inequality that is absorbed by everyone on their screens every day. As the father of two children – two girls – this should change.”
Sue Perkins, who hosted the ceremony, made a number of jokes throughout the night about female representation, saying: “I know what you’re thinking: not another awards show presented by a woman,”
“When will it end? I find it a little like Halley’s comet but a little less frequent.”
Actress Dierdre Mullins, a committee member told The Guardian about how the operation to get the BAFTA nominee’s on board came about:
“We had made a concerted effort about two weeks before the Baftas to get our campaign out there,”
“We all work in the industry so a lot of us knew the nominees personally or had a connection somehow and so we managed to personally deliver badges to pretty much everyone nominated.”
She explained that despite a few unnamed actors and wives of actors, most people were supportive of the campaign and happy to wear the badges.
“It’s an organic movement which really came out of a group of actresses who were fed up,” said Mulllins.
“None of us are professional campaigners but this is about more than just raising awareness. We want it to translate into accountability and changes put down on paper.”