The Golden Globes red carpet has been dyed black by streams of actresses, actors and activists outfitted in a colour-co-ordinated statement against sexual harassment and gender inequality in Hollywood.
Arrivals were streaming into an atypically tumultuous 75th Golden Globe Awards on Sunday night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. Many female stars arrived with activist guests – Michelle Williams with “Me Too” founder Tarana Burke, Meryl Streep and domestic workers advocate Ai-jen Poo, Laura Dern and farmworker advocate Monica Ramirez – as part of the larger effort to keep the Globes spotlight trained on the sexual harassment and assault scandals that have roiled Hollywood and other industries.
“We feel sort of emboldened in this particular moment to stand together in a thick black line,” Streep said.
The Globes, which will be broadcast live at 8 p.m. EDT on NBC, had long been the stomping grounds of disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein, whose downfall precipitated allegations against James Toback, Kevin Spacey and many others. Weinstein presided over two decades of Globes winners and was well-known for his manipulation of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the 89-member group that puts on the Globes.
Ashley Judd, the first big name to go on record with her Weinstein experience, and Salma Hayek, who last month penned an op-ed about her nightmare with Weinstein, attended together.
Sunday night’s black-clad protest was promoted by the recently formed Time’s Up: an initiative of hundreds of women in the entertainment industry –including Streep, Williams, Dern and the night’s Cecil B. DeMille honoree, Oprah Winfrey – who have banded together to advocate for gender parity in executive ranks and legal defence aid for sexual harassment victims.
“It’s not a fashion statement. It’s a solidarity statement,” said “The Crown” actress Claire Foy.
Just about everyone, woman and man, celebrity and red-carpet reporters, was dressed in black Sunday, many of them wearing a Time’s Up pin. “This Is Us” star Chris Sullivan even sported black fingernails.
“I can tell you it’s a very small gesture. Me wearing black isn’t going to change anything, but from small gestures come big ones,” said Alfred Molina.
But the unified statement has more dramatic effects on the normal choreography of the usually superficial red carpet. While being interviewed live on E!, Debra Messing called out the network for allegedly not paying its female hosts the same as its male hosts.
The exchange was just another illustration of how the “MeToo” reckoning that has plowed through Hollywood has upended awards season. Sunday’s Globes are considered wide open, with contenders including Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water,” Steven Spielberg’s “The Post” and Martin McDonagh’s “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”
The ongoing scandals have derailed Oscar campaigns and prompted new ones. Among the nominees Sunday is Christopher Plummer, who was brought in at the last minute to erase Spacey from “All the Money in the World.”
It should all make for an unusual atmosphere for the Globes, which have long fostered a reputation as the loosest, booziest evening of awards season. Even former host Ricky Gervais has acknowledged Sunday’s awards will have an awkward tone.
“If I were hosting the Golden Globes this weekend, I wouldn’t be brave enough to do the joke I’ve just thought of,” Gervais said Wednesday.
Hosting duties will fall instead to a Globes rookie: late-night host Seth Meyers. He will have his hands full trying to match last year’s broadcast, hosted by Jimmy Fallon. It was watched by 20 million viewers, an 8 per cent increase.
“We don’t want this night to be a session where we’re just scolding everything that happened because it is really important for us to remember that great movies came out of this year,” Meyers told The Associated Press last week. “A lot of people, we’re realizing, worked really hard in environments that were not that conducive to working really hard. So the goal is to have people have a wonderful night and an enjoyable party in a year which everyone deserves it.”
Last year’s broadcast also roped in one notable viewer: then President-elect Donald Trump. He was critical of Streep after the actress’s forceful political acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, which this year goes to Winfrey.
Associated Press writers Andrew Dalton and Lindsey Bahr contributed to his report from Beverly Hills