Hollywood went black at Golden Globes to support #metoo campaign, but is it enough?

By Suchetana
Jan 10, 2018

75th Golden Globes

Black was the colour of choice for most Hollywood A-listers at the recently concluded 75th Annual Golden Globes held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Only this time, actors chose the colour not as a safe bet, but as an icon of protest. Men and women alike came together in black as a symbolic gesture to support the famous #metoo campaign.

In the wake of several molestation cases coming out into the open following the allegation against Harry Weinstein, the women in Hollywood have taken a united stand. A legal defence fund called Time’s Up was recently founded, backed by over 300 celebrities, including big names like Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Eva Longoria and Ashley Judd.

As an extension of the movement, black was unanimously picked as the colour for the night at the 75th Annual Golden Globes. While Angelina Jolie and Oprah Winfrey looked regal in Versace gowns, actress Kate Hudson chose a Valentino haute couture gown and Diane Kruger wore a classic Prada. TV stars Emilia Clarke (star of GoT) and Sadie Sink (of Stranger Things fame) also shone in black Miu Miu.

Gary Oldman at Golden Globes

Men stood side by side with the women to make a statement in black. Award-winners Gary Oldman, who won Best Actor, Sam Rockwell, who won Best Supporting Actor, GoT stars Nikolaj Coster Waldau and Kit Harrington, and many others were spotted in black.

Oprah Winfrey at 75th Golden Globes

Oprah Winfrey, who received the Cecil B. DeMille Award, spoke about the importance of this symbolic resistance in her acceptance speech. She said, “What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have. I’m especially proud and inspired by all the women who have felt strong enough and empowered enough to speak up and share their personal stories. But it’s not just the story affecting the entertainment industry. It’s one that transcends culture, geography, race, religion, politics or workplace.”

Indeed it is heartening to see that the #metoo campaign has opened up avenues for women to share their stories and finally shed the misplaced taboo that is forced on the victim by the patriarchal society. This latest gesture by Hollywood A-listers at the Golden Globes should hopefully encourage more women to share their experiences.

But one can’t help but wonder if this symbolic move is enough. While it is definitely a step in the right direction and has great symbolic potency, the choice to dress in black restricts the narrative of sexual ethics within the codes of dressing. No matter what outfits men and women choose to wear, the dress should not be allowed to signify anything more than an accessory; it can never be a judge of one’s character, social standing or belief. This has to be a non-negotiable premise if equality, and within it gender equality, is to be established.

Once and for all, let’s shift our gaze from the colour of the dress and the length of the skirt, and look in the mirror instead.

Text: Suchetana Mukhopadhyay