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Celebrity-powered ‘Time’s Up’ movement removes shame of silence

Celebrities+used+Golden+Globes+to+bring+awareness+to+sexual+misconduct+by+decking+out+in+black.+
Celebrities used Golden Globes to bring awareness to sexual misconduct by decking out in black.

Celebrities used Golden Globes to bring awareness to sexual misconduct by decking out in black.

Celebrities used Golden Globes to bring awareness to sexual misconduct by decking out in black.

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Donned in all black outfits from designers such as Vera Wang and Louis Vuitton, Hollywood’s biggest film and television stars walked the red carpet for the Golden Globes ceremony. While the awards show is meant to celebrate the past year of motion picture, celebrity fashion takes precedent for the first two hours of the event. Wearing black was the way celebrities showed their support of sexual assault survivors, as well as their denunciation of predators in Hollywood. This movement was put into motion by the unmasking of Harvey Weinstein, a popular Hollywood director who has recently been accused of a pattern of sexual harassment and abuse. Despite the positive motives behind this, many critics have weighed in on the situation, and not all of them are encouraging.

With all women attending the ceremony wearing black but three (Barbara Meier, Blanca Blanco and Meher Tatna, all of which have vocalized support for the campaign), the participation was  A-list actresses like Debra Messing of “Will and Grace,” Michelle Williams of “The Greatest Showman” and Meryl Streep of “The Post” spoke about why they wore black on the red carpet. “People are aware now of a power imbalance, and it’s something that has led to abuse. It’s led to abuse in our own industry, and to abuse among the domestic workers field of work. It’s in the military, it’s in Congress. It’s everywhere,” Streep told E! host Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet.

While nine out of every ten sexual assault cases is against women according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, men are still affected by the issue. Many men also wore black to the Golden Globes to show their support of women battling sexual assault in Hollywood. Celebrities such as Seth Meyers, the host of the event, David Harbour of “Stranger Things,” and Willem Dafoe of “The Florida Project” have voiced their support of the accusers speaking out against predators as well.

While hosting the event, Meyers said, “People in this room worked really hard to get here, but it’s clearer than ever before that women had to work even harder…I look forward to you leading us into whatever comes next,” Myers said.

The support from Hollywood’s biggest stars was obvious, but many viewers at home called out the hypocrisy of the event. Online posts about the event pointed out the fact that several male winners at the Golden Globes are accused of harassment, such as James Franco, Aziz Ansari and Gary Oldman. Another criticism that despite all of these men wearing black and wearing the Times Up movement pins, few have donated money to the cause.  

Unfortunately, men’s choice of attire did not solidify their stance on the issue of sexual assault in the film industry. It seems as though some men are still patronizing women, even in the midst of the #MeToo movement. When  Today Show host Al Roker interviewed Mariah Carey on the red carpet prior to the event, he addressed her as “young lady,” despite the fact that Carey is 47 years old.  

Anyone who is not familiar with the Time’s Up movement may have been confused as to the sudden blackout on the red carpet. Times Up was created by celebrities (in response to an open letter from the Alianza Nacional de Campesinasto, the National Farmworkers Women’s Alliance) to protest sexual assault, and the first choice of resistance was wearing all black to the awards show. This movement is also in light of #MeToo, a phrase created by activist Tarana Burke, who attended the Golden Globes, to show how widespread the issue of sexual assault is in society. Despite Times Up being created on Jan. 1, the #MeToo movement has been around since 2006, though it was popularized in October of 2017 in light of the Weinstein revelations. The countless other campaigns that came before Times Up just go to show that sexual assault is real and valid, even if the discussion has just recently been opened up.

In light of these movements, the message seems to have been opened to women’s empowerment as well. This was highlighted by Oprah Winfrey’s powerful speech upon accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement, in which she said, “Speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” The speech blazed the headlines during the days following the Golden Globes, prompting people to even ask Oprah to run for president in 2020. Despite a week of speculation on social media, she has since said she is not interested.

In the final analysis, Hollywood has had a major problem with sexual assault in the industry for decades. With celebrities speaking out and condemning the predators in their midst, they are definitely sending the message that sexual assault is not tolerated. This is a step in the right direction, but there are still problems. This movement can only be effective if men also show their support, as there is strength in numbers. Hopefully, if this denunciation of Hollywood assailants continues, the issue of abuse in the community, and for women worldwide, will one day cease to exist.

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