This past weekend saw the 75th annual Golden Globe awards, which is meant to honour the best and brightest in film and television from the previous year. Like most award shows, the Golden Globes tends to actually honor the richest and the whitest. In the age of Weinstein, Spacey, and all of their compatriots though, things are beginning to change. Women are having no more of it.
Award shows are not always top priority for me, but this one stood out. At this weekend’s event, women and allies from all over Hollywood wore black in support of TIME’S UP, a “unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere.” They are attempting to change the world “from movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike,” with their call for change.
If you don’t follow celebrity gossip, fashion trends, or enjoy watching award shows, you might not understand the significance of wearing all black to the Golden Globes. While many award shows are traditionally conservative in dress, the Globes are without fashion rules. Men wear their typical black tuxedo, women have always used this particular event to do something interesting and off-the-wall. Bright colours, cutouts, and giant fabric flowers are not uncommon in a typical year.
Of course, black dresses were not the only protests. Men also wore black shirts under their tuxedos and TIME’S UP pins on their lapels. Debra Messing opted to use a red-carpet interview with E! to call the network out on paying their female co-hosts less than the male ones. Natalie Portman, who presented the award for Best Director this year, pointed out that all the nominees were male, despite a wide range of potential female nominees. A woman hasn’t been nominated for Best Director at the Golden Globes since 2014.
The hypocrisy of certain protesters was also front and center. Justin Timberlake sported his TIME’S UP pin but also starred in Woody Allen’s latest picture. Do you support women and survivors of sexual assault or do you support the man who hurts them?
The New York Times opted to use the #MeToo and TIME’S UP campaigns on the red carpet as an opportunity to pit women against each other, calling model and reality TV star Kendall Jenner out for even showing up.
Many asked why, instead of protesting in the form of their clothing choices, the women didn’t just stay home. But that was half the point, right? Women shouldn’t have to give up their opportunities because men don’t want to make room for them. Racialized people shouldn’t have to pretend they don’t care when white people don’t acknowledge their achievements.
The biggest stand out of the night was Oprah Winfrey, who was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille award for Lifetime Achievement. She is the first black woman to receive the award. In her acceptance speech, Winfrey called for change in not just the entertainment industry but everywhere. Was this the first step in Winfrey’s political career? Is this the dividing line between then and now? Will the women and allies of Hollywood be able to bring about the change we so desperately need?
They can’t do it alone. They are the privileged ones but we are the many. Let’s take their example and run with it. Time is up for harassment, discrimination, assault and hypocrisy. You’re with us or you’re against us.