Time’s Up UK is proud to support Zelda Perkin’s campaign Can’t Buy My Silence which is working to change legislation globally to stop the misuse of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) to buy the silence of victims of sexual misconduct, racism, pregnancy discrimination and other human rights violations. They have had great success in their first year, with new legislation passing into law in Canada and on its way in Ireland and Australia.
Legislators around the world are working with Can’t Buy My Silence to provide protection to all people from abusive NDAs. The campaign has been self-funded until now, but to expand and continue its important work, vital funds are needed.
Time’s Up UK want to spotlight the campaign as SHE SAID, a new Hollywood film directed by Maria Schrader about Jodi Kantor (Zoe Kazan) and Megan Twohey (Carey Mulligan) taking down Harvey Weinstein hits the big screen. SHE SAID features Zelda Perkins, played by Samantha Morton, who was forced to sign an NDA when she worked for Weinstein in the 1990s.
Zelda Perkins, Founder, Can’t Buy My Silence Campaign (CBMS) says, “Can’t Buy My Silence emerged from the direct experience of abuse from Weinstein. However, its more significant root is from the worse abuse suffered from being gagged by the system. A system that still protects the powerful who can wield the legal tool of NDAs; secret agreements that stop victims owning their own trauma, speaking up or being able to warn others whilst abusers continue to act with impunity and keep their reputations, jobs and lives intact. The world is slowly changing but only because of the work of survivors who refuse to stay quiet and organisations like Times Up UK and CBMS holding the system to account. SHE SAID uncovers the reality of this and shows what can be achieved by women with true tenacity, strength and integrity.”
Samantha Morton who plays Zelda Perkins in SHE SAID says, “SHE SAID is a vitally important film as it shows how the system is built to protect the rich and powerful. A system that perpetuates violence towards women with the use of NDAs. The use of these agreements to hide abuse and silence victims are frightening to me and should be to everyone. They are a shocking abuse of power and need to be stopped. The work Zelda is doing with Can’t buy My Silence is a beacon for good and for change, as is the work of Times Up UK. I hope this film makes the message loud and clear that the freedom of the press to engage in true investigative journalism needs to be protected and revered and that no victim should ever be silenced.”
Dame Heather Rabbatts, Chair, Time’s Up UK says, “Over five years ago the hashtag #MeToo went viral, a resurgence of a hashtag first set up by sexual assault survivor and activist Tarana Buke. This global sharing and outpouring rallied women in survivor solidarity and supported them to break their silence. Zelda is one of those brave women, her strength, the strength of all these women working together is what will enable us to see change. We need to support campaigns like Zelda’s to prevent the misuse of NDAs so vividly witnessed in SHE SAID released in the UK today. We all need to work together on these issues to effect change. It takes the solidarity of women, the allyship of men and the belief and collaboration of us all.”
The support to Can’t Buy My Silence is part of Time’s Up UK’s work to prevent bullying and harassment in the workplace including the development of a Creative Industries independent standard’s authority (CISA) to strengthen and better coordinate efforts to tackle bullying and harassment in the UK’s creative industries. The CIISA is designed to ensure that anyone who has suffered bullying and harassment whilst working in the creative industries, starting with film and TV, can receive confidential advice, mediation and crucially, investigation into the most serious and complex complaints. Foundations for this work were initiated by the BFI partnering with BAFTA and UK Time’s Up back in 2017, when the Weinstein revelations first came to public attention.
Establishment of the CIISA has accelerated considerably in this last year, having secured support from key organisations across the film and television industries. Most recently the UK’s leading broadcasters BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV, and Sky who each committed financial support for its next stage. The scope of the CIISA is currently being broadened out to those working in music, theatre, fashion and advertising with new announcements to be made in the New Year.