Joanna Lumley opened the Baftas by comparing the Time’s Up and #MeToo movements to the suffragettes, pointing out that 100 years ago, the Royal Albert Hall — where the Baftas took place — celebrated the first group of British women being given the vote.
“A century ago, the Suffragettes laid the groundwork for the sort of dogged resistance and powerful protest that is carried forward with the Time’s Up movement. And with it, the determination to eradicate the inequality and abuse of woman the world over.”
Many of those who attended the ceremony wore all black to support the movement, which began last year in the wake of multiple sexual assault allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein.
Lumley was one of the few who decided not to wear black, instead donning a charcoal grey suit, explaining beforehand: “I had to choose how I would look before any of this blew up… I shall look like a head mistress.”
Throughout the ceremony, many actors took the opportunity to speak about the Time’s Up movement, including best actor winner Frances McDormand, who said upon accepting the award: “I want you to know I stand in full solidarity with my sisters tonight in black.”
Presenting an Outstanding British Debut, Gemma Arterton — who was joined at the event by activists Eileen Pullen and Gwen Davis — said: “I would just like to thank you all for standing up for equality tonight”.
During her opening monologue, Lumley went on to joke about the Baftas “not just about the famous people… but let's have a look at the famous people here tonight!” She poked fun at nominee Gary Oldman, Sally Hawkins, Frances McDormand, Daniel Kaluuya, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Annette Bening.
“The exceedingly charming Hugh Grant is in the building,” she joked. “Quite how Hugh managed to portray a vain and egocentric actor is honestly beyond me.”
The host opened the ceremony with a skit taking phone calls from various Bafta nominated films, including Death of Stalin, Call Me By Your Name, and Darkest Hour.
Meanwhile, Three Billboards went on to win five awards, more than any other movie. Read the full list of winners here.
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