Los Angeles: Hollywood’s women turned up in all-black on the red carpet of the Golden Globes to show support for victims of sexual abuse.
And while we may have had our doubts about the hollow symbolism of switching the color of an outfit at a time when the culture of abuse perpetuated by some of its most powerful – Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis CK, to name just three from a very long, depressing list of Hollywood luminaries – has revealed itself to be all but an open secret among industry insiders; we have to admit, watching Hollywood’s most prolific women stand united in stark black was, indeed, an impressive sight.
According to the New York Times, Lena Waithe, the creator of The Chi, told In Style, “It may be a small way of showing solidarity, but to me this is extremely important. If someone looks back and wants to know where I stood, they’ll see that picture of me on the red carpet wearing nothing but black.”As supportive as we are of Time’s Up, the legal, financial and PR initiative by 300-odd women of Hollywood to aid victims of sexual abuse both within and outside the entertainment industry, we’re still not sure that wearing designer black was the best they could have done.
Nonetheless, watching the founding members of Time’s Up – Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria, Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd – holding hands and walking on the red carpet, was a bittersweet, powerful sight to behold. Given that the women in Hollywood are constantly and mercilessly pitted against each other on every aspect of their existence – from what they wear, how they aged, whether they went under the knife, how they look, whom they date and how much they make – far more than the men ever will be, watching a moment unfold that bound and united them for a cause that is bigger than any one person, was television gold.
And watching eight bigwigs Meryl Streep, Emma Watson, Amy Poehler, Susan Sarandon, Emma Stone, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Michelle Williams arrived in pairs, with activists as their guests to the awards, was definitely a redeeming factor in a plan that had women divided on its relevance and capacity.
It was a touching and fitting start to the evening when Nicole Kidman, who won the first award of the evening – best actress in TV movie or miniseries -for her role in Big Little Lies as a battered wife who, after months of quietly and confusingly justifying her husband’s abuse, finally finds the courage to leave him. She has dedicated the award to her female co-stars – whom she named – and accepting it with a “Power of Women!” was just the start that the evening needed.
We’re still ambivalent on the symbolism of wearing a color to a red carpet. We still think it helps too many people with means, money and the world’s ear to get away with doing too little. But women are coming together, even if for a transitory moment.