#TimesUp: a fashion statement, a political movement, or neither?

Now that Christmas and New Year’s have passed, it’s time for my favorite holiday, award season! The Golden Globes kicked things off last night in a major way. Even if you don’t pay close attention to these awards, I’m sure you were aware of the #TimesUp movement to support victims of sexual abuse. Celebrities came dressed in black, brought advocates as their dates, and no longer talked about who they were wearing, but why.

On the outside, it looked like a winning night for women. Oprah became the first black woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille Award with a kick-ass inspirational speech to follow. Debra Messing called out E! for not paying their male and female employees equally. Michelle Williams brought Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo movement as her date.

Although there were good things happening in Hollywood last night, there were moments of hypocrisy that robbed this movement of its power.

Artists supporting the #TimesUp movement continue to work with abusers.

Justin Timberlake, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Hugh Jackman… The list goes on. All of these people showed up for the  #TimesUp movement last night despite working with alleged-abuser Woody Allen. The most recent allegation against Allen is that he sexually abused his adopted daughter Dylan Farrow. Although celebrities continue to defend him and his work, there are undeniable facts supporting these allegations.

This list of actors and actresses that have supported abusers is long and no where near complete. Artists were standing up for survivors in their words, but not in their actions.

Abusers were present at the Golden Globes and even won awards.

Social media was outraged by the presence of abusers at the event. Ally Sheedy, actress from “The Breakfast Club”tweeted out against both Christian Slater and James Franco, winner of Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy. Ally Sheedy Twitter

Franco has been accused of inappropriate behavior multiple times, including trying to lure young girls to his hotel room. Slater was arrested and served time in 1997 for assaulting his then-girlfriend.

Actor Kirk Douglas received a standing ovation at the show despite allegedly raping actress Natalie Wood.

Gary Oldman, who was accused of domestic violence in 2001, won Best Actor in a Drama Motion Picture.

Again, the list goes on.

Had Hollywood not taken a stand, Harvey Weinstein would have been present, dressed in black, wearing a #TimesUp pin.

Taking a stand against abusers in Hollywood has been long overdue. Weinstein has abuse allegations dating back to 1979, according to an article by USA Today. The story of his abuse was not picked up by any major publication until October 5th when the New York Times reported on it. There were other articles written and published by other various publications, however, the story didn’t pick up much speed until 2017.

Had this story not spread like wildfire, the film producer likely would have been in attendance of the Golden Globes, showing support for the movement like everyone else.

Failure to see the hypocrisy in this is dangerous.

How can we do better?

Holding celebrities accountable for their actions is the number one way to support survivors of sexual abuse and harassment.

Despite the various problems, the Golden Globes dress code was not a lost cause. It opened up discussion and allowed women to speak on things we’ve never heard discussed on the red carpet before. Dress has power, I’m a strong believer in that. But it’s not clothing that will ultimately make the difference, but the people wearing it. Just like wearing a feminist tee-shirt, if you don’t walk the talk, it’s meaningless.

I hope the discussion that was started at the Golden Globes last night continues with more power throughout the rest of this award season.

 

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