This year’s Golden Globes award show was a huge departure in tone from previous years. Typically the Globes have a reputation as being the “party awards show” with lighthearted acceptance speeches and hilarious antics from our favorite celebrities. Set in the midst of the huge sexual assault and harassment scandal that is, hopefully, changing Hollywood, a goofy awards show would have been completely out of place. Instead, attendees chose to use their platform to speak out against this culture of harassment. And the world was listening. These are three lessons that we learned from the 2018 Golden Globes.
Fashion Can Be a Form of Protest
Okay, so this is hardly a new concept. People have been using their fashion choices to make political and social statements for centuries. Suffragettes wore bloomers. Flappers rolled their stockings down. Punk rockers wore tattered jeans. All these sartorial choices were a form of protest against societal norms.
Thanks to social media, protest fashion movements today are much easier to organize. Thousands of women sported pink hats at the Woman’s March, and women walked the Golden Globes red carpet in black. This public display of protest through fashion served to draw attention to the ongoing problem of sexual harassment in Hollywood. Men and women also wore pins supporting the Time’s Up movement.
Time’s Up Isn’t Just About Hollywood
The brave women who have shared their stories of harassment in Hollywood have been rightly spotlighted in recent months. Those women, and the others supporting Time’s Up, are quick to remind us that this movement is not just about the movie industry. The Time’s Up initiative wants to eliminate sexual harassment, assault, and inequality in every workplace.
TIME’S UP is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.
Many attendees of the Golden Globes reinforced this message by bringing well-known activists as their “Plus 1s”. These activists have been working for equal rights in a wide variety of fields, from politics to athletics.
As Oprah Winfrey addressed the room as she accepted the Cecil B. Demille Award for lifetime achievement, she said:
But it’s not just a story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace. So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farm workers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine, and science. They’re part of the world of tech and politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.
Celebrities Have a Platform, But Change Requires All of Us
The stars who walk the red carpet have an enormous platform. On that night in January, the media’s eye was turned to them as they answered questions on the red carpet, and as they made their acceptance speeches. But for real change to happen, we have to all work together every day. As Laura Dern said in her Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech:
I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice. May we also please protect and employ them. May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new north star.
Hopefully these lessons will prove to help to shift the tide. The stars of the Golden Globe awards spoke and we are listening.