This year’s awards ceremonies were kicked off at the Golden Globes with a united front against Hollywood’s damning tsunami of sexual harassment cases. The red carpet that is usually donned with designer gowns flooded with colour was instead a blackout, excusing a few rebels.
Celebrities united to wear all black outfits as part of a silent protest against the growing pile of sexual harassment cases that is growing in both size and momentum. Though many argued that a silence was part of the epidemic.
Cynics of the stance dismissed the black dress code as a lazy way of covering their own back after decades of working with the very men who are now making headlines. However, those watching the awards felt the impact of the lack of colour.
The sombre blackout was like a silent scream that could not be drowned out with high profile celebrities such as Angelina Jolie, Reese Witherspoon, Emma Stone and Billie Jean were among the majority who all stood, in their entirely black outfits, strong.
The protest did not go unnoticed and quickly went live on social media with many celebrating the action while some saw the stand as a cowards act. This view on the #TimesUp activism was also publicly bashed by Charmed star Rose McGown, she openly critisiced the blackout call:
“And not one of those fancy people wearing black to honor our rapes would have lifted a finger had it not been so,” she wrote. “I have no time for Hollywood fakery, but you I love, @AsiaArgento #RoseArmy.” Quote lifted from Rolling Stone.
“No one should forget that you were the first one who broke the silence. Anyone who tries to diminish your work is a troll and an enemy of the movement. You gave me the courage to speak out. I am on your side until I die.”
“And not one of those fancy people wearing black to honor our rapes would have lifted a finger had it not been so,” she wrote. “I have no time for Hollywood fakery, but you I love, @AsiaArgento #RoseArmy.”
Many Wienstien accusers were apparently left out of the #TimesUp movement and did not receive an invite to the event, Argento was among these:
“I can only speak for myself but not only I wasn’t invited to the #GoldenGlobes: nobody asked my opinion about #TIMESUP or to sign the letter,” she wrote. “I support @TIMESUPNOW even though I was excluded from it. Guess I am not POWERFUL or HOLLYWOOD enough. Proud to work behind the scenes✊.”
Those who were invited to the event chose to bring an activist as their date to further the movement and strengthen their message, Meryl Streep walked the red carpet with Ai-Jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
However, Streep also came under fire after many took to Twitter to call out the actresses hypocrisy after she continued to work for the director through decades of sexual harassment with other actresses.
McGown called out her ‘fake protest’ on Twitter in December, ahead of the awards:
“Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest,” McGowan wrote at the time. “YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.”
In response to the tweeet, Streep issued a long statement denying any knowledge of Weinstein’s inappropriate behaviours.
Whenever you see Meryl Streep’s smug face nodding in support of sexual assault victims, remember that she literally applauded & defended a pedophile rapist. pic.twitter.com/tpyI9A8a1r
— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) 8 January 2018
“It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90’s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others,” Streep wrote. “I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know. I don’t tacitly approve of rape. I didn’t know. I don’t like young women being assaulted. I didn’t know this was happening.”
Though some who were invited came under fire for more than just ‘Hollywood fakery’, James Franco’s night was turned around after his award win was overshadowed by @AllySheedy1 exposing his alleged sexual misconduct.
— Marlow Stern (@MarlowNYC) 8 January 2018
Most who attended chose to wear relatively sober outfits with structured dresses and high neckline outfits noticeable with most outfits, sexy thigh-high splits and low necklines were less in evidence and interviewers were not asked who ‘looked the sexiest’.
It wasn’t only celebrities taking to Twitter but members of the public were also using the social media platform to offer their take on #TimesUp.
Lauren Entwistle, 20, is a vocal Twitter user and used her account to show that though she respected the event she thought that more needed to be done.
I think it was a great show of solidarity, but if the movement is really going to go forward, Hollywood needs to rid itself of abusers who are routinely protected and even celebrated, such as Kirk Douglas (who has been accused of sexual assault) and was awarded that night.
— Lauren Victoria (@laurentwistle) 11 January 2018
Blogger Megan, founder of up and coming blog Reflections and Ramblings felt strongly about the event:
I think it’s so great that such influential people, both men and women, stood up for such a wonderful cause and were proud to do so. Regarding the black dresses, I love that they didn’t feel they had to compromise on or lose their femininity to be taken seriously!🖤
— Megan (@ramblingblog1) 11 January 2018
Designer Pradal Gurung, who dressed Kerry Washington and Issa Rae, told Harper’s Bazaar that the event would be far more important than just a display of fashion but rather a monumental movement.