This is how the ‘Weinstein effect’ is changing the 2018 awards show season
Hollywood’s most powerful women are painting the town black.
Gal Gadot, Saoirse Ronan, Mary J. Blige and Allison Janney are among the growing list of actresses planning to dress all in black at the Golden Globes on Sunday.
They join Hollywood heavyweights including Meryl Streep, Jessica Chastain and Emma Stone, whom People had previously reported were making a sartorial statement on the red carpet this weekend, to address the culture of sexual harassment that’s been increasingly exposed in the entertainment industry. Male actors including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Tom Hiddleston are also donning the shade in solidarity. And the blackout could continue throughout the rest of the season.
“I think that will be really powerful,” Janney told Page Six. “I will be in a black dress and be proud to be standing there with the other actresses.”
“I’m bringing one of my best friends with me and she’ll be wearing black also,” Ronan, a lead actress Globe nominee for ‘Lady Bird,’ also told Moneyish’s sister publication. “The relationships between women are so strong … and it’s about time that we get to experience that in our industry, too, you know?”
While the procession of priceless couture gowns showcased at the Grammys, the Golden Globes, the Screen Actors Guild Awards and the Oscars has been a highlight of the awards show gauntlet for decades, stars like Reese Witherspoon and Blake Lively had already been deflecting interview questions away from what they were wearing with the #askhermore movement.
And now as the alleged sexual misconduct of men such as producer Harvey Weinstein, filmmaker Brett Ratner, comedian Louis C.K. and actors including Kevin Spacey, Jeffrey Tambor and Dustin Hoffman has also come to light, La-La Land is further scrapping the self-congratulatory back-patting for a more serious self-assessment. And that starts with actresses making a uniform statement.
“Clearly we’re entering a very sober awards season. Hollywood has been rocked by these sexual abuse allegations, and the women in the entertainment industry have really found their voice this year,” style expert Tom Fitzgerald, co-publisher of the TomandLorenzo.com lifestyle blog with Lorenzo Marquez, told Moneyish.
While the red carpet has been dominated by sheer, nearly-naked dresses for the past two years, Fitzgerald said the barely-there look “all but disappeared” last fall, not long after the New York Times first broke the story about Weinstein’s history of alleged indiscretions in October, and the #metoo movement publicized by Alyssa Milano and echoed by Lupita Nyong’o, Salma Hayek, Gwyneth Paltrow and countless other women snowballed across every industry, including media, dining and sports.
“Typically we’re looking at hugely glamorous gowns or big princess gowns, and a lot of lightness and fantasy in awards season red carpets, and this is clearly not a moment where women in the entertainment industry are feeling particularly frivolous,” said Lorenzo. “We’re seeing a transition not toward modesty – that oversimplifies it – but rather toward professionalism. Celebrity women want to project an image right now of strength and sober professionalism … and the easiest way to do that and show solidarity with your sisters is to just dress everyone in black.”
Women are rising up off the red carpet, as well. Actors, writers and media moguls including Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, America Ferrera, Eva Longoria and Shonda Rhimes recently launched the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which is raising money to help victims of workplace sexual harassment cover their legal fees. And every SAG Awards presenter next month will be female, and the show has tapped Kristen Bell to be its first-ever host.
The SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell told the New York Times, “I want to salute women who are coming forward to speak at a very difficult time about very difficult subjects at great risk to themselves.”
Women are having a powerful year on screen, as well. The SAG nominations covering film and TV saw critically acclaimed female-fronted projects including “Big Little Lies,” “Glow” and “Lady Bird” leading the pack. “Lady Bird” (directed by Greta Gerwig and starring Saoirse Ronan) has been generating Oscar buzz for months, and “Wonder Woman” (directed by Patty Jenkins and starring Gal Gadot) has been smashing box office records.
“This night will celebrate women more than any other SAG Awards has, and possibly more than any other awards show has,” Bell told the Times.
Fitzgerald believes this sense of seriousness will permeate throughout the awards show season. “I am very interested to see what happens at the Oscars,” he said.
This story was originally published on Dec. 15, 2017, and has been updated to include more actors.
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