BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07:  75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Actors Reese Witherspoon (L) and Eva Longoria arrive to the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 07: 75th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: Actors Reese Witherspoon (L) and Eva Longoria arrive to the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2018. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
Hollywood Women Use Golden Globe Ceremony To Bring Attention to Sexual Assault In Hollywood

by Ashley Terry

Image Source: http://cdn01.cdn.justjared.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/witherspoon-gg/reese-witherspoon-eva-longoria-golden-globes-\2018-11.jpg

On Sunday, January 7th, 2018, the 75th annual Golden Globe awards ceremony aired to the public. While the ceremony itself is to celebrate achievements in television and film, actors and actresses wanted to bring awareness to a major issue in the industry. Almost every person at the ceremony wore black to advocate for sexual assault/harassment/abuse victims both in the industry and everyday society.

On January 1st, Reese Witherspoon, Gal Gadot, America Ferrera, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Natalie Portman, Ava DuVernay, and over 300 women in the film/television industry posted a photo to their social media accounts using the hashtag “#TIMESUP.” The photo said, “Time’s up on silence. Time’s up on waiting. Time’s up on tolerating discrimination, harassment, and abuse. #TIMESUP.” [1]

The TIMESUP movement was created in response to the overwhelming amount of allegations against actors/actresses in the industry; inevitably as a result against the allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein. To gain more attention to the movement, those involved wore black to the Golden Globe awards because it is a heavily publicized event.

Witherspoon posted a photo to Instagram explaining why she wore black, “Why I wear black today: One in three women ages 18-34 have been sexually harassed at work. 71% of those women said they did not report it. #TimesUp.” [2]

The movement’s goal is to help those without a voice obtain legal support against their perpetrators and gives victims a safe haven within their devastation.

While the movement is to gain awareness, some actors/actresses might have felt pressured to wear black due to the heavily publicized event. Many actors/actresses that have worked with directors Woody Allen and Roman Polanski, who have outstanding allegations against them, are being criticized for continuing to work with them.

For example, musician/actor Justin Timberlake wore a black suit with a Time’s Up pin on his tie. Timberlake starred in the 2017 film Wonder Wheel, directed by Allen. Timberlake has not publicly defended Allen, but by continuing to work with Allen it gives the public the perception that he simply did not care about Allen’s allegations.

Another example would be actress Kate Winslet. Winslet is also in the film Wonder Wheel. The difference between Winslet and Timberlake would be that Winslet has publicly defended Allen. “He’s obviously well known for have creating extraordinary roles, very very powerful and complicated roles for women, for many years,” Winslet stated. [3]

Portman, although a member of the movement, has been criticized for signing a petition to release director Roman Polanski from Swiss custody after being charged with the rape of a thirteen year old girl back in 1977. The petition dates back to 2009 and many beloved actors and actresses signed it along with Portman. [4] [5]

For those that do not know, Polanski fled the United States after a warrant was released for his arrest for sexually assaulting a thirteen year old girl in 1977. In 2009, the Oscar award winning director was arrested and charged in Switzerland with US authority. Polanski has even said, “As far as what I did: it’s over.” [6]

So, for those involved in the TIMESUP movement that have willingly worked with or defended the director(s), it is unbelievably frustrating and disrespectful to the cause itself.

Sexual misconduct is incredibly normal in the film industry along with it’s sexism and racism. For producer Harvey Weinstein, his victims could not do anything against him out of fear that they would not be cast in a film or television show; which would destroy their careers.

The organization would not have been possible without the #MeToo movement last year. Activist Tarana Burke founded the movement in 2006, but it went viral in 2017 via Twitter by actress Alyssa Milano, “If you’ve ever been sexually harassed or assaulted, write ‘me too’ as a reply to this tweet.” [7]

Milano posted the tweet in support of her friend and fellow actress, Rose McGowan after the actress came forward and said Weinstein had sexually assaulted her in the ‘90’s. [7]

This movement is a major step forward for the film industry. It gives actors and actresses an opportunity to share their stories and show how the industry and society must do better.

This isn’t the first time that actors/actresses have worn certain colors or pins to events to bring awareness to a widespread issue.

After the inauguration of Donald Trump, he announced a travel ban in the United States against eight Middle Eastern countries (Libya, Syria, Chad, Somalia, Yemen, Iran, Venezuela, and North Korea). [8] Before the ban was challenged in the Supreme Court, actors and actresses showed their outrage at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards in 2017. Actor Simon Helberg (The Big Bang Theory) carried a sign with him on the red carpet that said, “Refugees Welcome.” His wife had the words “Let them In” written across her chest. British actor Dev Patel would do the same at the 2017 Academy Awards. [9]

Most acceptance speeches that night consisted of urging people to not let the ban define the US as a whole and to challenge it as best as they could. The ban was ruled unethical in the Supreme Court.

Another big moment during Sunday’s ceremony was Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech after she received the Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award.

In my career, what I’ve always tried my best to do, whether on television or through film, is to say something about how men and women really behave. To say how we experience shame, how we love and how we rage, how we fail, how we retreat, persevere and how we overcome. I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of them seem to share is an ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. So I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “Me too” again.” [10]

Awards season always brings controversy. Sunday’s ceremony received criticism for their selection of nominees including Best Director. All nominee’s were male despite 2017 being a huge year for female directed films. Directors Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman), and Dee Rees (Mudbound) did not receive a Golden Globe nomination despite their films being the biggest films of the year. [11]

The movement has other goals besides advocating for sexual assault/harassments/abuse victims. It wants to end discrimination, sexism, and unequal pay. Actress Debra Messing (Will and Grace) called out E! News on their unequal wages to co-host Catt Sadler while they were interviewing her on the red carpet. Messing stressed, “Time’s up. We want diversity, we want intersectional gender parity, and we want equal pay.” [12]

“I was shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts. I miss Catt Sadler. So we stand with her. And that’s something that can change tomorrow. We want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men,” she explained. [12]

It is incredible to see successful, well known actors and actresses using their platforms to give a voice and advocate for those without one.

If you or a loved one has experienced sexual assault/harassment/abuse, please visit www.safehelpline.org   

For more information about the TIMESUP movement, visit www.timesupnow.com

 

Sources:

[1] https://www.instagram.com/p/BdaWmllhWjB/

[2] https://www.instagram.com/p/BdqQJdzBocz/

[3]http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/margot-robbie-kate-winslet-woody-allen-face-response-praise-video-interview-a8117016.html

[4] http://bust.com/feminism/19471-roman-polanski-petition.html

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/film/2009/sep/27/roman-polanski-arrest-switzerland-custody

[6] https://nypost.com/2017/10/05/why-does-hollywood-keep-defending-roman-polanski/

[7] http://www.instyle.com/news/who-started-me-too-movement

[8] https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/permanent-travel-ban/?utm_term=.cdbf04b3b975

[9] http://www.telegraph.co.uk/tv/2017/01/30/big-bang-theory-actor-protests-against-trumps-travel-ban-sag/

[10]http://www.cnn.com/2018/01/08/entertainment/oprah-globes-speech-transcript/index.html

[11]http://time.com/5092079/natalie-portman-golden-globes-male-nominees/

[12]https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/debra-messing-equal-pay_us_5a52aabde4b003133ec91399