At Mexican Academy Awards, Women Launch #YaEsHora to Fight Sexual Abuse in the Industry

Lead Photo: Photo courtesy of Ya Es Hora Twitter account
Photo courtesy of Ya Es Hora Twitter account
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Following in the footsteps of the international movement #TimesUp, Mexican women working in film and television are banding together against gender-based discrimination and abuse across the entertainment industry to demand an end to the gender wage gap. They’re also demanding more opportunities to tell stories by and about women.

Their unified initiative is called #YaEsHora (It’s Time), and was launched on Monday night at the 61st Ariel Awards, the Mexican Film Academy’s equivalent of the Oscars.

Using the ceremony’s red carpet at the Cineteca Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City as a platform, nearly 100 women (directors, actresses and film critics) raised their voices to collectively express solidarity for all women in their field who’ve ever felt they needed to stay silent about abuse. “You are not alone, we are together,” they chanted.

Director Alejandra Márquez Abella, who was nominated for her female-driven feature Las Niñas Bien (The Good Girls), read the group’s three central demands:

1. Zero tolerance for gender violence.
2. Gender parity in the workplace.
3. More stories told from a female perspective.

The initial supporters of this necessary advocacy group include Roma stars and Oscar nominees Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira, Karla Souza (Everybody Loves Somebody), Ilse Salas (who won the night’s Best Actress award for The Good Girls), Cassandra Ciangherotti (Las Horas Contigo) and directors Lila Avilés (La Camarista) and Natalia Beristáin (Los Adioses).

To combat rampant sexual harassment and gender-based discrimination, #YaEsHora proposes that schools, production companies, distributors and film festivals abide by a code of conduct that stipulates respect and equality among all its employees and participants.

#YaEsHora’s first call to action is to invite all Mexican women who work in film and television to register on its newly launched website. By doing so, it’ll create a national database that allows the group to strengthen the sense of community and support among all women creators. In the future, the group will host panels and workshops to continue bringing awareness to the issues facing their base.