Idris Elba Stands With Gucci for Gender Equality

The English actor stars—alongside 34 other luminaries—in a 10th anniversary video series for the Chime campaign.

Time flies when you’re doing good. It’s been ten years to the day since Gucci, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, and Salma Hayek Pinault launched the Chime campaign, an initiative dedicated to advancing gender equality around the world. The first big splash came in the form of a concert on June 1, 2013 that reached a billion viewers and raised $3.9 million for the cause. Now, a decade into its efforts, Chime is marking the occasion with a 35-video series directed by Academy Award-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and featuring an impressive roster of actors, musicians, activists, and more. We’ve got your first look at Idris Elba’s contribution to the campaign.

Like his 34 cohorts in the video series, the English actor and DJ—not to mention Esquire cover star—sits in front of a simple backdrop and starts speaking about the continued seriousness of the issue at hand. “There’s always something to learn. Always,” he says.

“In terms of the gender equality debate,” he continues, “I think there are some cultures that have seen a little bit more liberation in the debate and others that have just been silently suffering. That’s part of a slipping backwards mechanism if we’re not allowed to speak freely.” Elba points to restrictions on how women address these issues, and the idea that “it doesn’t have to be a special agenda. It is what it is. Let’s talk about it.”

It’s a rallying cry for opening up a discourse that has, sadly, not evolved as much as one would hope over the course of the last ten years. It’s also a strong reminder that in order to truly affect societal change, people—of all genders and walks of life—need to raise their voices in support.


As a part of the anniversary, Gucci is renewing its commitment to organizations like the UN Women’s Generation Action Coalitions, and will be announcing more about Chime throughout 2023. But this video series, and its clear and direct confrontation of the lack of gender equality worldwide, is the big first step in the next phase of the ongoing project.

“Each film in this new series is an important reminder of why we need to champion the voices of those who are working to create change,” Obaid-Chinoy says in a statement. “I hope this campaign will reinvigorate conversations around the world, so that everyone feels the urgency to contribute towards creating a more gender equal future.”

FromEsquire US

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Jonathan Evans
Jonathan Evans is the style director of Esquire, covering all things fashion, grooming, accessories, and, of course, sneakers. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. You can follow him at @MrJonathanEvans on Twitter and Instagram.
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