Kate Winslet has revealed she has “bitter regrets” about working with certain unnamed film-makers.
She was speaking at the London Critics’ Circle film awards on Sunday, where she received a special award for excellence in film.
Here is a transcript of her comments, which she made after a few initial words of thanks.
“It almost feels uncomfortable to receive an award at such a time. But being up here does give me the opportunity to say some things that matter to me. There are directors, producers and men of power who have for decades been awarded and applauded for their highly regarded work by both this industry and moviegoers alike. Indeed, many actors have had flourishing careers, due in part to roles played in their films. The message we received for years was that it was the highest compliment to be offered roles by these men.
“As women around the world and from all walks of life marched last weekend, once again joining together to speak out against harassment, exploitation and abuse, I realised that I wouldn’t be able to stand here this evening and keep to myself some bitter regrets that I have about poor decisions to work with individuals with whom I wish I had not.
“It has become clear to me that by not saying anything, I might be adding to the anguish of many courageous women and men. Sexual abuse is a crime. While it rests with the rule of law to pass judgement, it lies with all of us to listen to the smallest of voices and to never stop listening. Also those who do have a voice are becoming afraid to say anything, because of intense scrutiny and criticism.
“Nobody should be exempt from having a right to speak in support of vulnerable people. There are those who can speak so powerfully for those who are not able to do so themselves, and let us please not make this about which people express public regret and those who choose not to, but instead keep the focus on the terrible, secret crimes of abuse against vulnerable children, girls, women and indeed boys and men too.
“The real headline here is that a Hollywood commission on sexual harassment and advancing equality in the workplace now exists, led by Kathy Kennedy. The Time’s Up movement that will enable anyone to get professional support to fight back against predators and all forms of abuse and to address the complex problems of inequality and abuse of power in the workplace also now exists. I know we all stand together in hoping that this moment in history paves the way for a transformed future for generation upon generation upon generation to come.
“I think again of the Women’s Marches. There was one banner scrawled on cardboard that particularly resonated with me. ‘The older I get the more I see women described as having gone mad. What they’ve actually become is knowledgeable and powerful and [expletive] furious.’ Years ago that woman would likely have been locked away. How times have changed. Let’s keep them changing. Thank you very much.”