Golden Globes becomes the site of political activism


Sophia Brousset, Copy Editor

The 75th annual Golden Globes became the site of activism as the bulk of celebrity guests donned black dresses and suits with an aim to open the red carpet to discuss sexual misconduct. This decision was a part of the #TimesUp campaign, a movement founded in response to the “Weinstein effect,” a newly emerging term to describe the torrent of sexual assault stories that came out following accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein.

Some attendees, including actresses Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, and Emma Watson, took the movement a step further, bringing activists as their plus-ones. Actress Michelle Williams, for example, was accompanied by Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo campaign.

However, the advocacy did not end on the red carpet. The awards ceremony took a political turn right from the start when comedian Seth Meyers took digs at President Trump, Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen in his opening monologue. Nicole Kidman then went on to speak out against domestic assault after winning the Golden Globe for the Best Actress in a Limited Series. Elisabeth Moss, accepting the award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, honored Margaret Atwood, the author of the dystopian novel The Handmaid’s Tale, and all the women “brave enough to speak out against intolerance and injustice, and to fight for equality and freedom in the world.”

Near the end of the night, Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to be awarded the Cecil B. deMille Award recognizing excellence in entertainment. Her acceptance speech was politically-charged, commending the press and paying tribute to sexual assault victims, especially those who go unheard. Winfrey then told the story of Recy Taylor, a black woman living in Alabama who was raped by a group of white men in 1944. “She lived, as we all have lived, too many years in a culture broken by brutally powerful men. For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak the truth of the power of those men — but their time is up,” she said. “Their time is up!”

Reactions to her speech were overwhelmingly encouraging with viewers praising her eloquence and some even calling for her to run a presidential campaign.

The general consensus of the public on the evening was positive, many praising the attendees for standing up in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse. Dissenting opinions, however, did arise; some raised eyebrows at the hypocrisy of the situation given that some actors in attendance have worked with celebrities accused of or have themselves been accused of sexual misconduct. Actor James Franco, for example, who wore a #TimesUp pin and won an award at the Golden Globes, was involved in an incident that occurred in 2014, in which Franco allegedly made sexual advances towards a 17-year-old girl on Instagram. Others felt that women had taken the majority of the initiative in addressing the subject matter of the night while the men seemed to ignore the issue at hand.

As questionable as some aspects of the Golden Globes might have been, the awards show was certainly an unprecedented demonstration of solidarity within Hollywood.