A small group of women dressed up as sausages — yes, sausages — Wednesday night in Australia because they are fed up with the "sausage party" at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts Awards.
Some 15 sausage-costume-clad protesters burst onto the red carpet at the annual AACTAs at Sydney's Star Casino chanting, "End the sausage party!" As they rushed onto the scene, the women began to fall down in formation before security guards forced them out.
The demonstration was apparently done in response to a perceived lack of diversity in Australian cinema.
The sausage fest was organized by Women in Film and Television as part of a broad campaign to highlight the lack of female representation in this year's awards ceremony. WIFT's goal is to increase the number of women working in the industry and reach parity by 2021.
"AACTA purports to be a celebration of Australia screen excellence, and at the moment it’s a celebration of a very, very narrow part of the industry," WIFT founder Sophie Mathisen, who organized the protest, told the Guardian. "There are a huge number of women that are working outside of the system that don’t even get a look-in."
She went on to tell the European news outlet that, of the 28 films pre-selected for the AACTAs, only two were directed by women. "We are looking at it as the tip of the iceberg," Mathisen said.
The WIFT founder also noted that Australian film and television benefit from government subsidies.
"I don’t understand why there isn’t a gender equity or diversity policy in existence," she said. "There are strong statistics to prove that there is institutionalized bias in the system, and the fact that it is not addressed head-on means we are invested in the status quo."
Regardless of what they stand for — or against — the WIFT protesters were certainly aware that their meat-themed melee would garner quite a bit of attention.
Before the protest, the organizers made this music video to promote their campaign, and it's really something. (Content warning: Offensive language)