This year was a first for the Golden Globes- the women chose to wear black to protest the rampant sex abuse that was brought to light in recent months. The Time’s up campaign, that 300 actresses have signed up for, have teamed up with the National Women’s Law Center and have raised $15 million over the weekend.
The awards started the dialogue too with Debra Messings questioning E! on gender pay gap, to Natalie Portman calling out the all male best director nominees, to Oprah’s speech that many termed presidential. It was a defining moment for an evening that focused on glitz and glamor and the outfits to take on something real.
But something about this felt very hollow to me. It didn’t connect at all, firstly because the issues brought to light weren’t breaking news, everyone knew about Harvey Weinstein being a pig and yet fawned over him. I get that he was powerful and you don’t mess with that, but no leading lady came to support the first accusers until there was enough media attention. Other examples: Roman Polanski got a standing ovation when he won the Oscar for Pianist, and Woody Allen got a free pass for being a genius. Yes, there is finally a united voice but in some ways, the leading ladies didn’t lead by example in the protests.
The other part is wearing black as protest almost feels like a themed party- it isn’t like a protest T-shirt where everyone is wearing the same slogan. If we are protesting the focus on dresses, maybe the solution is a boycott to “what are you wearing” questions, and if we are focusing on the sex abuse prevalent, then maybe discussing that would be a start. Instead the attention is focused on the black dress and the message is lost.
One amazing idea I saw online was if the women wore suits instead with the message they are taking the power in Hollywood. That would have been a powerful message, and one that was echoed through the evening.
It’s a step in the right direction to bring this issue to light, but let’s move past the token gesture of wearing black and have a meaningful dialogue. Let’s move the discussion forward, but real steps not fashionable twirls!