Stars dressed in black, wore #TimesUp pins and escorted gender and racial equality activists on the red carpet.
Solidarity is the new black.
The Golden Globes are normally the bawdy opener to the awards show season, but Sunday night’s show made it clear that this year’s ceremony would celebrate women’s voices as the stars suited up in all black and escorted gender equality activists on the red carpet.
“The mood was somber, but uplifting. The sea of black gowns and pantsuits and jumpsuits set such an incredible tone,” Adam Glassman, the creative director of O Magazine who was covering the red carpet for “Extra,” told Moneyish. “It was not a funeral. It was very powerful to see, and it was very powerful to hear women talk about the #TimesUp movement and the #MeToo movement.”
And he helped Oprah Winfrey, who was being honored with the 2018 Cecil B. DeMille Award for her impact on entertainment, change her Globes dress to something noir at the last-minute so that she could support the cause.
“She jumped on. She called me from holiday and said, ‘A lot of ladies are going to wear this one color, so we need to change the dress.’ And we did,” said Glassman. “And this was a major fashion moment tonight, even if it was not intentional. But everyone was using fashion to make a political statement, and I must say it was glamorous and professional, and people were there with a mission.”
Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria had previously called on celebrities to join them in wearing all black to protest the culture of sexual harassment that’s been increasingly exposed in every industry, particularly entertainment, media, food and sports. And hours before the first statuette was even handed out, #WhyWeWearBlack was trending on social media as A-list sisters including Natalie Portman, Rashida Jones, Rosario Dawson and Jennifer Lopez posted their reasons for donning black to support the Times Up initiative that actors, writers and media moguls have founded to raise legal funds for victims of workplace sexual harassment.
#WhyWeWearBlack #TIMESUP #MeToo @timesupnow #GoTeam #TaranaBurke #MiraSorvino #CoreyFeldman #lupitanyongo timesupnow.com Times Up legal Legal Defense Fund money raised will provide subsidized legal support for people (men, women, disabled persons, LGBTQIA) who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or abuse in the workplace.
Hollywood heavyweights such as Meryl Streep, Susan Sarandon and Emma Watson also escorted activists for racial and gender justice like #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and National Domestic Workers Alliance director Ai-jen Poo on their arms.
“In fact, most of the celebrities didn’t even want to talk about their own projects,” said Glassman. “Michelle Williams brought the woman who founded the #MeToo movement, and she didn’t even want to talk about the one film she’s in that is nominated – she said, ‘We’re just gonna talk about #MeToo,’ which I thought was incredible.”
I’m inspired by this incredible group of #TIMESUP sisters. We’re united in fighting for a world where all women (and all people!) are free from sexual assault and harassment. #GoldenGlobes2018 #MakeJusticePop pic.twitter.com/0qHWhIcDTf
— Ai-jen Poo (@aijenpoo) January 7, 2018
True to their word, celebrities flooded the red carpet in statement-wearing black dresses and suits in lieu of the usual Technicolor array of gowns. Many presenters and nominees also wore one of the 500 #TimesUp pins commissioned by Witherspoon and costume designer Arianna Phillips in just two weeks, and more will be available for the public to purchase in the future.
Fashion commentators and TV hosts shied away from asking the standard “What are you wearing?” red carpet query for asking the actresses why they were wearing black.
“The mood felt a bit jubilant, like everyone got their talking points and were determined to show a united front and sense of sisterhood,” Tom Fitzgerald, co-publisher of the TomandLorenzo.com lifestyle blog with Lorenzo Marquez, told Moneyish. “The interviewers, both on NBC and on E!, didn’t quite know how to respond to a lot of their interview subjects, but they wisely kept their mouths shut and let the women speak.”
And many male actors willingly gave up the floor to let the ladies take the mic. When Justin Timberlake arrived with his wife Jessica Biel, who’s nominated for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for “The Sinner,” NBC’s Natalie Morales and Carson Daly asked JT about his upcoming Super Bowl Halftime Show performance. Timberlake demurred that he was there to support his wife.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) January 7, 2018
Viola Davis delivered a moving, empowering message to fellow sexual assault survivors during the NBC preshow. “There’s no prerequisites to worthiness,” she said. “You’re born worthy, and I think that’s a message a lot of women need to hear. The women who are still in silence because of trauma, shame, due to the assault ― they need to understand that it’s not their fault and they’re not dirty.”
And Debra Messing even called out E! – while being interviewed by E!’s Giuliana Rancic – for not paying their female hosts the same as their male hosts, which led to “E! News” correspondent Catt Sadler resigning a few weeks ago.
DEBRA MESSING BRING THE MESS!!!! CALLING OUT A NETWORK ON THE VERY NETWORK ITSELF pic.twitter.com/7pePJMaOXj
— Ziwe (@ziwe) January 7, 2018
“I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts,” Messing said, live on the air. “I miss Catt Sadler, so we stand with her,” Messing continued. “That’s something that can change tomorrow. We want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men.”
And this is just the beginning. The SAG Awards has tapped Kristen Bell to be its first-ever host this month, and every presenter will be female. And observers expect to see similar statements made at the Oscars as well.
“I think this may be looked back on as an important moment specifically for women in the entertainment industry. I don’t think they’ve ever been this united on any one cultural issue in Hollywood since World War II,” said Fitzgerald. “I think it’s likely that this is going to snowball its way through the coming awards season. I expect the women behind this initiative have plans all the way up to and including Oscars night.”
However, it’s possible that they’ll expand their color palette for the next awards show. “There are only so many black gowns out there to be had, so I wonder if the statement will take some other form going forward,” added Fitzgerald.
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