A pledge by many high-profile actors and creators to wear black to this year’s Golden Globes generated much conversation in the lead-up to Sunday night’s ceremony. Could a fashion-driven protest really make a difference? Would it be a meaningful conversation starter or an empty gesture? And would anyone dare to stand out and wear magenta or mustard while their peers went monochromatic?
As the show wore on Sunday night, it became clear that nearly all of Hollywood got the memo and, whether in solidarity or in fear of ostracism — let’s assume the former in most cases — followed through with the pledge. Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Alison Brie, Kate Hudson, Emma Stone, Emma Watson, Rita Moreno, Michelle Williams, Issa Rae, Elisabeth Moss — looking out across the red carpet, and later across the dinner tables inside the Beverly Hilton, it was hard to spot any other hue aside from a few white shirts peeking out from under tuxedo jackets.
Only a couple of attendees, actor Blanca Blanco and German model Barbara Meier, appeared to show up in color, with Blanco in deep red and Meier in an embellished pink.
The protest, facilitated by the new organization Time’s Up, took on perhaps more gravity than anticipated when eight actors showed up to the red carpet with activists as their dates. Meryl Streep brought Ai-jen Poo, the head of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Michelle Williams attended with Tarana Burke, who started the #metoo movement in 2007. Laura Dern’s date was Monica Ramirez, co-founder of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, an organization that works on behalf of female farmworkers.
Red-carpet conversation, at least among women — many were quick to point out that interviewers failed to ask the same questions of men — focused to a large extent on the topic of sexual harassment and the urgent need for change in Hollywood. The rest of the evening remained on theme, from host Seth Meyers’ monologue to Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award.
The work to combat sexism and inequality in Hollywood will extend far beyond Sunday night’s red carpet. But Time’s Up can count that night’s protest — at the very least, as a number’s game — as a success.