Abi Morgan: Don’t be distracted by T-shirts

Screenwriter Abi Morgan thinks it would be a pity if the message of Suffragette was overshadowed by the cast wearing T-shirts with the word ‘slave’ on them.

The new movie, based on the women’s suffrage movement in London during the late 18th and early 19th centuries, boasts a cast including Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Anne-Marie Duff.

In September (15) the actresses wore tops emblazoned with feminist Emmeline Pankhurst’s famous slogan ‘I’d rather be a rebel than a slave’ while promoting the movie in Time Out London magazine. However the statement didn’t go down well with some, and social media was buzzing with comments about how inappropriate it was for white women to reference slavery.

Speaking at the film’s press conference in the British capital on Wednesday (07Oct15), Abi shared her dismay at how the message has been perceived.

“In America we have a huge debt to those diverse women, there is without a doubt that association,” she told Cover Media. “However I think it would be a pity if the negative conversation, which is an important conversation, overshadows the true and sincere intentions of the film, which was to empower all women, globally. I hope we don’t negate on either side.”

The cast have praised Suffragette for being just as relevant now as it was during the original movement and Abi is pleased to have achieved such a triumph.

“What I love is that it didn’t feel like a documentary about a time, it felt like a film about today,” actress Carey added. “To mark the achievement of what they did and what they gave to us and also to highlight where we are as a society – we are still sexist and that goes throughout our history.

“The film does talk about the rest of the world and where women are, not just the vote but their living wages and how they are treated.”

– Cover Media