Donations roll in after Emma Watson backs UK anti-harassment campaign

A crowdfunding campaign to fight sexual harassment has raised almost £1.6 million (S$3 million), a day after the fund was highlighted at the prestigious British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards (Baftas).

Harry Potter star Emma Watson donated £1 million to the UK Justice and Equality Fund, which has received more than 280 donations in about two days - ranging from a few pounds to two anonymous contributions of £400,000 and £100,000.

"We are delighted with the reaction that we've had ... it just goes to show that people are really looking for this change," Ms Seyi Newell, spokesman for Rosa, the women's rights group behind the campaign, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The fund was launched ahead of the Baftas, where the campaign for women's rights in the entertainment industry took centre stage. In an open letter published ahead of the Baftas on Sunday in British newspaper The Observer, more than 200 actresses, including Oscar winner Emma Thompson, called for sexual harassment and abuse to be rooted out from the industry.

Ms Kate Kinninmont, who heads the Women in Film & Television UK group, said the money would support organisations that help victims of harassment and abuse.

Award-winning British director Susanna White called for the establishment of an independent body to deal with reports of harassment and bullying in the entertainment sector.

This comes after a slew of allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein last year sparked the #MeToo campaign.

At Sunday's Baftas in London, many of the female attendees wore black outfits in a gesture of protest, mirroring last month's Golden Globes awards ceremony in Los Angeles. Many male and female attendees sported Time's Up badges. - REUTERS