The Successes of #TIMESUP At the Golden Globes
The women of Hollywood repeatedly and thoughtfully mentioned the sentiments of #MeToo and #TIMESUP in their speeches. Nicole Kidman, Rachel Brosnahan, Elizabeth Moss, Laura Dern, Frances McDormand, and Reese Witherspoon all used their speeches to promote, admire, and advocate for women and other survivors of sexual harassment and abuse. Dern emphasized the need both to support survivors and commit to changing a culture of silence:
"I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders ― who are brave enough to tell their truth ― but to promote restorative justice. May we also please protect and employ them. May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star."
Of all of the speeches given at the 75th Golden Globes, however, Oprah's acceptance speech of the Cecil B. DeMille Award stood out. Oprah praised the bravery of women, including rape survivor and activist Recy Taylor, who recently passed away. She called for visibility, advocacy, and support for women, saying:
"I just hope that Recy Taylor died knowing that her truth, like the truth of so many other women who were tormented in those years, and even now tormented, goes marching on. It was somewhere in Rosa Parks' heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it's here with every woman who chooses to say, "Me too." And every man—every man who chooses to listen."
Oprah's speech was met with a standing ovation. While social media has gone abuzz with the hope of Oprah running for political office, it is clear that she is already a leader and trailblazer who inspires millions of people around the world.
Natalie Portman gave one of the biggest surprises of the night while presenting the nominees for Best Director. No women were nominated for Best Director, a category where director Greta Gerwig's absence was duly noted. To the surprise of everyone (including her co-presenter Ron Howard) Portman said:
"And here are the all male nominees..."
Portman's remark was both hilarious and biting, calling attention to a gender disparity in Hollywood. Only 7% of film directors are women, and less than 1% of directors are women of color.
The Shortcomings of the Golden Globes
While women repeatedly brought #MeToo and #TIMESUP into the spotlight through moving tributes and calls to action in their acceptance speeches, no male award winners mentioned #MeToo or TIMESUP. Similarly, men did not bring activist guests, and rarely brought up #MeToo or #TIMESUP in interviews. Sexual harassment and abuse is not merely a "woman's issue", and male allies in Hollywood should have and could have done more beyond simply wearing their normal black suits in solidarity.
Ironically, some men who were nominated or won awards have been accused of abuse and sexual misconduct themselves. Christian Slater, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a Television Series, has been arrested for both assault and sexual misconduct on two separate occasions. Gary Oldman, who won Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture, has been accused of physical abuse by his ex-wife; Oldman wore all black and a Time's Up pin when he accepted his award. Actor Kirk Douglas, at 101 years old, was honored as a "true Hollywood icon" and a "movie legend". However, Douglas has also been dogged by allegations he raped actress Natalie Wood. Douglas received a standing ovation.
The Time's Up movement offers an exciting opportunity for a future that free from violence and discrimination, but in order for that future to become a reality, men in Hollywood will have to step up and do their part. There are brave women, who are both powerful and empowering, leading the way to a future that is free of harassment and abuse. But the 75th Golden Globes proved, more than anything, that we have a long way to go.