Actress Amy Huberman has commended those who have spoken out about sexism in the entertainment industry. She said she was unsurprised to hear accounts posted in the #MeToo campaign as “almost all women have experienced sexism to varying degrees”.
“It’s very brave to speak out, and I think it’s important for women to have support, and to be heard and for things to change massively,” she added.
The actress was attending the Jaguar Ireland Funds luncheon hosted in the Merrion Hotel.
More than 100 women in business and philanthropy gathered together – including Fionnuala Kenny, Lucinda Creighton, Professor Mary Horgan, Margot Slattery, Gina Quin and director of the Ireland Funds Caitriona Fottrell. The luncheon honoured Irish Ambassador to France and Monaco, Patricia O’Brien.
The event was hosted by chairman emeritus of the Ireland Funds Loretta Brennan-Glucksman, who also discussed the impact of the #MeToo campaign.
“This current campaign is obviously concerning, and in some ways disgusting that in 2017 we are still experiencing this rampant harassment,” Ms Brennan-Glucksman said.
“The only thing I am afraid of is that we humans have a way of letting the pendulum swing too far to an irrational position. And I really hope that doesn’t happen in this instance where it becomes a witch hunt and the original purpose of the intention is lost.”
Asked if she had ever experienced sexism herself, she replied: “I don’t know if there isn’t a woman in any profession who hasn’t dealt with that in some way or another – it is just a matter of degree.”
Separately, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar told the Dáil that an independent investigation should be established into allegations of sexual harassment and bullying at The Gate Theatre. He said there should be “no tolerance of assault, sexual harassment or bullying of any sort in any workplace”.
He was speaking after former Tánaiste Joan Burton described allegations emerging from the Gate as “harrowing and grotesque”.
However, on the issue of allegations facing the former theatre director Michael Colgan, Mr Varadkar said The Gate was a private institution.
“It has its own board and trustees, and it is incumbent on them to put in place an independent investigation to ensure the allegations made are thoroughly investigated.”