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Asking For It? with Emily Atack Premieres Tuesday 31 January on BBC Two



"This was the hardest thing I've ever filmed in my life" - Emily Atack on Asking For It?

In one off documentary Asking For It?, airing 31 January on BBC Two, actress and comedian Emily Atack shares intimate details of her life and social media direct messages in an effort to shed light on the pervasive problem of sexual harassment in the digital space and provide solutions.

For the first time, Emily examines her life in depth, deconstructing the effects of years of unwelcome sexual attention. Over the course of her life, she says she has been told, “but you’re asking for it,” and has felt that she was responsible for the unwanted attention.

Emily began updating her followers on the escalation in the level of online harassment she was subjected to during lockdown. It wasn’t long before many of the women who follow her came up to say the same thing happens to them and that they, too, accepted it as usual. In the movie, she tries to learn more about the men who send her graphic material by getting in touch with a few of them.

Emily talks to professionals, such as a councillor for sexual violence and abuse and advocates for internet safety, to find out why this has become the norm and why the victim is often blamed when they are the target of harassment.

She meets with the police to discuss whose responsibility it is to put an end to cyber-flashing and whether or not enough is being done to protect young women and girls in the digital space.

Emily concedes that she has always used humor as a shield against the unwanted attention, but she now wonders if it’s still humorous given all the weight she’s been carrying around.

In a deeply personal moment, she opens up to her parents about what happened, thinking back on how she’s changed as a result of these experiences and hoping she’ll finally be able to stop blaming herself and see that she was never ‘asking for it.

This one-off documentary will premiere on BBC Two and iPlayer on 31 January 2023 at 9.00pm.