UCL student starts petition to strip Harvey Weinstein of his CBE

Weinstein has been accused of a number of a serious sexual assaults

Third year UCL English student, Polly Creed, has started a petition to strip Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein of his CBE. Allegations recently emerged that over the past decade Weinstein had raped several actresses in a series of horrific sexual assaults.

His victims, including actresses Ashley Judd and Natassia Malthe, have revealed how the producer pressured them into having sex with him.

Polly told The Tab London:

“It is so important that the UK actively participates in the current discussion about the systemic issues, surrounding sexual harassment and assault. By remaining silent and allowing Weinstein to retain his CBE, as the Honours Committee is currently doing, we are only reaffirming a systemic framework that allows perpetrators of sexual assault not only to be ignored, but actually celebrated. We must send the message that we are actively trying to change the culture in which acts of sexual violence and harassment happen.”

Polly explained in her statement that she is a sexual assault survivor herself, meaning that these recent events hold a particular relevance for her. She said that over the last few weeks following the Weinstein allegations, the sharing of many #MeToo stories in relation to sexual assaults has meant that she has felt a little bit less alone:

“No longer is sexual harassment and assault something that we have to endure in silence or feel ashamed of. Instead, it finally feels like society is starting to really address this problem that has been so ubiquitous and damaging for far, far too long. I think we should, of course, feel extremely angry about the picture that has emerged, but also positive that we are experiencing a real cultural shift in perceptions of sexual harassment/assault and the role we all have to play.

“It’s important to keep up our momentum and anger. The discussion, which has been catalysed by the Weinstein case, shouldn’t be forgotten as the next news cycle emerges. That’s at the core of why I started the petition: it’s about keeping the discussion going and making sure that anger online translates into strong, definitive action in the real world and letting decision-makers know what we think. It’s about asking ourselves whether we want Weinstein to be recorded in the history books, as someone to be celebrated or someone to be condemned.

“The #metoo social media trend has been an empowering way of opening up the discussion and proving the scale/scope of the problem, but let’s now get a #whatareweallgoingtodoaboutit trend going in reality.”

Started two days ago, the petition currently has over 10,000 signatures. If this is something that you feel passionately about, support Polly’s cause and that of the many other victims of sexual assault, and sign the petition today here.

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