Belfast Telegraph

David Schwimmer and David Arquette back campaign to #AskMoreOfHim

The campaign is in support of the Me Too and Time’s Up movements.

David Schwimmer, David Arquette and Orange Is The New Black star Matt McGorry are among the male stars, writers and producers who have written an open letter to support survivors and sexual harassment.

The letter, published in trade magazine The Hollywood Reporter, demands more accountability and action from men in the industry.

It follows the launch of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements for gender equality.

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The letter says: “We applaud the courage and pledge our support to the courageous women — and men, and gender non-conforming individuals — who have come forward to recount their experiences of harassment, abuse and violence at the hands of men in our country.

“It is never easy for someone who’s been harassed or bullied to speak up, especially when the abuse is sexual.

“These people are our colleagues and friends. They are fellow artists and craftspeople. They are also our partners, siblings, parents and children. We are in awe of their strength and commitment to speaking truth to power.

“But our awe is not enough. As men, we have a special responsibility to prevent abuse from happening in the first place.

“After all, the vast majority of sexual harassment, abuse and violence is perpetrated by men, whether in Hollywood or not.

“And in entertainment — like many industries — men continue to hold most of the decision-making power. Therefore, one of the most powerful things that men can and must do is make it clear to other men — including their friends, colleagues and co-workers — that sexual harassment and abuse are never acceptable.

“This goes for everything from sexist and degrading comments, right up to domestic violence and sexual assault.

“Some may question our motives for signing this statement and we aim to counteract their scepticism by being painfully honest. Men are imperfect. We are imperfect.

“And many men, including perhaps some of us, may have enabled the bad behaviour of others or acted in ways we now regret.

“Nonetheless, we believe that men must speak out against sexism, even as we engage in our own process of critical self-reflection, personal growth and accountability.

“So consider this our pledge to support survivors, condemn sexism wherever we see it and hold ourselves and others accountable. As advocates, actors, writers, producers, and directors, we hope that our actions will inspire other men to join us.

“Until now, only a small number of them have been actively engaged in this effort. This must change. It’s time we #AskMoreOfHim.”

The letter is signed by men including Arquette, Schwimmer, Jane The Virgin star Justin Baldoni, and broadcaster Josh Levs.

Levs wrote on Twitter: “Proud to join @DavidSchwimmer, @DavidArquette & others to #AskMoreOfHim at the #Oscars and every day, by co-signing this letter in the @THR.

“We must all work together to stop sexual harassment, abuse, & assault, & support #TimesUp & #Metoo.”

Actress Jessica Chastain praised the move, writing: “I am so moved by this letter. Thank you. I hold hope that as this letter circulates, more of my male colleagues will sign and support the hashtag #askmoreofhim.

“We all benefit from a healthy work environment, free from abuse.”

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