United Nations, New York, USA, March 16 2018 – Sienna Miller During a Side event at CSW62 that convenes media representatives to discuss women in the media today at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
Photo: Luiz Rampelotto/EuropaNewswire
By Kurt Wheelock
The full range on the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and sexism was on display at the United Nations on Friday, when actor and entrepreneur Sienna Miller told a packed conference room about her struggle with paparazzi, who she called “camera-armed men.” In a UN Women event entitled #MeToo—Now What?” Sienna Miller said, “I fought back. I got privacy law changed.”
As to acting itself, Miller recounted that “A few years ago I was offered a gutsy, powerful role in a play that was close to my heart. It was a two-hander on Broadway, but I was offered less than half what my male costar was being paid. The decision to turn down this particular role was difficult and lonely. I was forced to choose between making a concession on my self-worth and dignity and a role that I was in love with. It turned out to be a pivotal moment in my life. Not because I did it. But because I didn’t.”
Continuing on the disparate treatment of women in the entertainment industry, Miller at the UN on Friday said, “For me, the strongest significance of the Time’s Up movement is that, by bringing to light the darkest moments of some of the most powerful women in Hollywood, it sends a message to those who admire and listen to them. This message is that sexual harassment happens to everyone, even those who we think are untouchable because of their fame or celebrity status. It sends the message that being treated unfairly cannot be an intrinsic part of being a woman.”
Of course, most victims of sexism face far bleaker choices. UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said on Friday, “Women die as a result of entrenched violence against women. We are right now mourning Marielle Franco in Brazil, who was killed, one of the best activist, feminist, politician, fighter for women’s rights.”
Other speakers at the event included Ine Eriksen Søreide, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Norway, Pamella Sittoni, Managing Editor of the East African, Fatemah Farag, Founder of Welad el Belad and Director of Women in News in MENA and Matthew Winkler, Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief Emeritus, Bloomberg News. The event was moderated by Polly Toynbee, columnist, The Guardian.
Miller concluded on an upbeat note, that “I am excited that this movement challenges the loneliness and isolation we have all felt in relatively insignificant or extreme situations. I really feel that as women, we are no longer alone.”