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Australian stars condemn sexual harassment

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December 06, 2017

Please Like Me star Debra Lawrance (right) has spoken about sexual harassment in showbiz.

Debra Lawrance has kicked off the AACTAs red carpet in Sydney, speaking about the topic that's on everybody's lips - sexual harassment in the entertainment industry.

The Please Like Me actress has admitted that she too has experienced inappropriate behaviour within the industry.

"It happened to me. I was never sexually assaulted by anybody, but the sexual harassment was certainly rife," she told AAP on the red carpet.

Lawrance, who is nominated for Best Performance in a Television Comedy for her role in the ABC series, said there's a "whole casting couch thing".

"It seems to me the stronger you are as a woman, the easier is it to let them know that it's inappropriate," she said.

In regards to Geoffrey Rush's decision to step aside as AACTA awards president last week, she thought it was the right thing to do, but called for due process to be carried out in relation to allegations against him.

Rush has reportedly been accused of inappropriate behaviour during the making of The Sydney Theatre Company's King Lear in 2015, which he denies.

"Of course I feel very strongly for the young woman whose come forward because it's not a good thing," Lawrance said.

"But we need to make sure that everything is done above board and reported above board with good evidence."

Cleverman actor Rob Collins seconded Lawrance's call for due process to take its course.

"Victims have the right to be heard," he told AAP.

"No one should have to go to work and feel unsafe."

The red carpet at The Star was hit by a downpour of rain just an hour before Australia's large and small screens were meant to arrive on Wednesday afternoon, but the sky has since cleared.

Actor/director Simon Baker will be at the awards to collect the Trailblazer Award while some of the country's biggest actors including Paul Hogan, Anthony LaPaglia and Rachel Griffiths will also attend.

Nicole Kidman has been nominated twice, for her supporting roles in film Lion and TV series Top of the Lake: China Girl, but hasn't been listed as a confirmed attendee.

Tearjerker film Lion is the most nominated movie with a total of 12 nods, seven of which it already won at the AACTA luncheon this week honouring the people working behind the scenes. It will compete against Ali's Wedding, Berlin Syndrome, Hounds of Love and Jasper Jones for the title of Best Film.

On the small screen, Jane Campion's second season of Top Of The Lake and the Seven Network series Blue Murder: Killer Cop, the updated story of notorious real-life NSW detective Roger Rogerson, lead with 11 nominations each.

* The AACTA Awards will air on the Seven Network from 8.30pm (AEDT) on Wednesday

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