The Share Her Journey Rally is underway in the festival corridor on King St. at the Toronto International Film Festival with speeches from Oscar winner Geena Davis, Oscar-winning producer and Women In Film President Emerita Cathy Schulman, 24 and The L Word actress Mia Kirshner, The Handmaid’s Tale actress Amanda Brugel, Belle director Amma Asante, Sundance Institute Executive Director Keri Putnam and more scheduled. Today’s rally has the support of partners ReFrame, TIME’S UP, and #AfterMeToo.
The Share Her Journey Rally is a vital event here at TIFF. Unfortunately these festivals were the unfortunate backdrop where Harvey Weinstein engaged in his alleged sexual misconduct. The festivals are correcting this history and raising the voices for women in the industry.
Davis spoke today that her crusade to bring gender equality on screen when her daughter and her noticed the majority of male characters on a kid’s TV show. Davis took the point up in her industry meetings, however, the executives she spoke with were in denial and believed that gender equality was already in effect. “Data is the key in solving this problem,” said Davis. She has dedicated the Geena Davis Institute to bringing gender equality on screen. The problem she says “can be fixed instantly”
“If they see it, they can be in it is the motto of my institute,” says Davis. But she has a new motto, “No more missed opportunities…you can do a gender balance…A girl who watches Brave or The Hunger Games buys a bow, a woman sees CSI or X-Factor, she goes into the stem field.”
Kirshner taking the stage said, “Over the past year we’ve learned a little bit about the conditions of work in my industry the conditions that allowed for sexual impunity to continue, the indifference of institutions, the unions and the lack of action, and we are now one later looking at #MeToo when this began, when these stories that have long been hidden became a national conversation.”
The L Word actress said that when it comes investigating sexual violence in the workplace, “there is no change, that’s not good enough and we can do better.”
“We need change” said Kirshner about due-process transparency and support for survivors, “We have a patchwork of legal systems and systems in which we can bring a claim forward of sexual violence, it’s scattered over the web.”
Kirshner has called on unions like AFTRA to ensure that the contracts are fair to actors and guard against sexual violence. “We don’t need any more divisiveness.”
Watch the rally in its entirety above.