This year’s Golden Globes gained far more attention than usual due to the political stance taken on the red carpet, and the movement #TimesUp. Those attending were encouraged to wear black to support #TimesUp. Eight actresses, Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, Amy Poehler and Emma Stone, arrived accompanied by activists like Monica Ramirez, Tarana Burke, Saru Jayaraman, Marai Larasi, Rosa Clemente, tennis legend Billie Jean King, Ai-jen Poo and Calina Lawrence. Times Up is an organisation that aims to help victims of sexual assault and also offers legal aid. Their website, timesupnow.com, states;
‘The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it’.
The movement was highlighted through the wearing of black to the 75th edition of the award show. Black is usually worn by men to the event anyway, so many men wore pins with the slogan ‘Times Up’ to convey their support. With so few not wearing black, could it be safe to argue that many just followed the ‘trend’? In terms of fashion and the designers, all that changed was the colour. The usual luxury fashion brands were still chosen by the stars. Perhaps unusually, only one fashion house is known to have made a substantial donation to the Times Up movement; Calvin Klein. Although Marc Jacobs did offer a statement on the movement;
‘We wear black to join with the voices of ALL women, particularly women of color, LGBTQX women, disabled women and all other women who have been disproportionately affected by sexual violence…TIMES UP on discrimination, harassment and abuse’.
(Tracee Ellis Ross wore a dress by Marc Jacobs).
Recent years have seen the rise of people using fashion to protest, as we saw with the use of feminism in luxury and high street fashion. This particular protest occurred on a large scale, as all of today’s top celebrities engaged in the movement, though one could argue that the male participation was lesser, as black tie is traditionally worn to such events. Almost all in attendance wore black, save for three; Blanca Blanco, Barbara Meier and president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Meher Tatna. Although their choice not to wear black was not of a political nature. As president of the association that holds the global globes, Tatna stated;
‘My mom and I planned this together a couple of months ago, it is a cultural thing…When you have a celebration, you don’t wear black. So she would be appalled if I were to [have] worn black. And so this is, for my mom’. She further said she was ‘standing in solidarity with all these other women’, and also displayed the #timesup badge on her outfit.
Nikki Ogunnaike, senior fashion editor for Elle, wrote that the conversation changed on the red carpet. Usually those in attendance are asked who they are wearing, now most were asked why they were wearing black. Ogunnaike made the point that who they choose to wear was important, as many of the prominent fashion houses are led by males. She argued;
‘This Golden Globes broadcast would have an opportunity to highlight the few womenswear brands that are actually run by women’.
When asked why they wore black, many celebrities centred the conversation around themselves, rather than using it as a platform to express the issues at hand. The attention brought to the cause is great, but as with fashion, trends rise and fall fast. Was this action great enough to invigorate change? Or did it just offer privileged celebrities the chance to “feel” involved?