ERA 50:50 – The Time for Change

Gemma Arterton ©Sophie_Mutevelian

The #metoo movement has been challenging all industries. Along with it, it’s time to raise all the important questions that women have been faced with for decades.


Last evening, ERA 50:50 – Equal Representation for Actresses – a movement of actors and actresses set up in 2015 by Elisabeth Berrington and Polly Kemp – hosted an incredible array of talks in partnership with Spotlight and Equity – currently the most poignant platforms in the industry that represent talent on screen.


In 2018, women represent more than half the population on the planet, yet on screen, they are still misrepresented in numbers as opposed to their male counterparts. The statistics say that there are twice as more men cast into roles as opposed to women, and the numbers rise nearly up to 3:1 for children’s television. Moreover, apart from taking up less physical space than their male co-stars, actresses also have predominantly less screen time, speak less and are also written by scriptwriters into secondary or supporting characters. In a day and age where women have more to say, they’ve got less space to do so.

James Nesbitt ©Sophie_Mutevelian

Last night, ERA brought together more than 200 of the most influential people in the entertainment industry and called for the tides to change. It takes a village – from producers to casting directors and writers, but the most important thing is to raise awareness over the issue.


Last evening’s supporting guests included Olivia Colman, Gemma Arterton, Lily James, Gemma Chan, Miles Jupp, Doon Mackichan, Ophelia Lovibond, Amanda Redman, Tobias Menzies, James Nesbitt, Philip Glennister, Stephanie Cole, Imelda Staunton, Shazad Latif, Jim Carter, Jess Phillips MP, Tulip Siddiq MP, Tracy Brabin MP, and Founding Leader of the Womens’ Equality Party, Sophie Walker. All the above are pioneers in their respective industries and showed their support and dedication to a cause that we all should stand behind.

Gemma Chan, Moira Buffini, Gemma Arterton, Emily Berrington, Lily James ©Sophie_Mutevelian


Olivia Colman introduced the evening before handing over to ERA 50:50 who showcased alarming statistics regarding the way women are misrepresented on screen.


The aim is to raise enough awareness so that by the year 2020 we can see equal gender balance on screen and a 50:50 gender balance across the yearly content in film and television.


Entertainment is the most powerful tool in today’s consumerism. As Hollywood aims to hold a mirror to society through its depictions of human stories, it’s pivotal that these stories accurately represent women as a poignant source of currency and power. I want my daughter to see herself on screen and not as a Disney princess.

Olivia Colman ©Sophie Mutevelian

Characters with authority are predominantly male. For the time being, we’re indoctrinating another generation to believe that women aren’t as valuable or as interesting. Weight and age are other factors that influence heavily how much work actresses are getting. The reason Three Billboards is so refreshing is that Frances McDormand walks bare-faced and unashamed as a character while being her 50-60-year-old self. It’s a palpable relief that she exists and is able to have such a strong influence, especially after how well received the film was at the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.


So what are the solutions? Here’s what ERA is actively proposing to producers, casting directors, production companies and everyone responsible for content creation:


Seek out female writers

Use your influence

Cast 50:50 background artists

Safeguard women in the workplace

Commit to 50:50 writers’ rooms

Commit to 50:50 onstage representation

Fund 50% female talent

Educate the next generation of content makers

Use job vacancies to achieve 50:50

Serve your audience

 Female-led films make money!



These are all solutions that can be implemented easily within any production house and with minimal hassle. It is actually illegal not to offer equal opportunities to both men and women alike.

We leave you with some of the most poignant quotes from ERA’s incredible array of speakers.


Ophelia Lovibond: “It is happening, I feel there is a seismic change and it is so exciting. I feel so invigorated and honoured to be a part of it.”


Tobias Menzies: “Shifting preconceptions of what gender representation should be in our industry was the invitation of the night…asking us to go back to our spheres of influence and talk about it where we can.”


Miles Jupp: “On the News Quiz, over 8 series, half of our guests have been women, half men. We made a decision, we stuck to it – so could everyone. Even if you only have a little bit of power, make positive use of it.”


Jess Phillips: “In 2018 it seems bizarre that we don’t have a representative media.

It’s not even a woman thing it’s a society thing.”



Most importantly, ERA is a campaign that is funded by the goodness of your hearts, so head over to and donate. Do it for yourself and for the next generations to come.