Time’s Up Hollywood: Now What?

The 75th annual Golden Globes were held on Sunday Jan. 12, but they were more than just a celebration to recognize some of the best films of 2017. The #TimesUp movement had every guest wearing black in support of the fight against sexual assault in Hollywood. 

Via Swirlster

The #TimesUp movement came as a result of the #Metoo movement, which was revived online in 2017 after Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault by 84 women. Weinstein has denied the multiple allegations ever since the hashtag surfaced. The “MeToo” hashtag was used when it was posted on the profiles of countless women who have experienced sexual assault. It was a hashtag of power, and a symbol of bravery for the women (and men) who posted it on their social media.

Throughout the year, more women and men in Hollywood have been brave enough to come out and call out their accusers, this list includes House of Cards star, Kevin Spacey, The Today Show co-host, Matt Lauer, Executive producer of ArrowSupergirl and The Flash, Andrew Kreisberg. Spacey has been fired by Netflix and the streaming service has pulled the plug on the hit show. Lauer was fired and replaced by Hoda Kotb in the beginning of this year and Kreidberg has been suspended by Warner Bros.

Via Los Angeles Times

So what was the reason behind #Timesup? More than 300 women in Hollywood introduced and announced their participation in the movement on Monday, Jan. 1 in the New York Times.

“Now, unlike ever before, our access to the media and to important decision makers has the potential of leading to real accountability and consequences,” the letter said. “We want all survivors of sexual harassment, everywhere, to be heard, to be believed and to know that accountability is possible.” The movement, according to the #Timesup website is a legal defense fund, currently over 16 million dollars, set up to provide legal defense and support for those who have reported sexual assault and encourages more people to report assault as well. The website also gives statistics, tips on how to spot sexual assault and what are the next steps that a person should take if becoming a victim of sexual assault. However, the major public step that #Timesup took was at the Globes.

Related: The Aziz Ansari Allegation and Why it Highlights a Much Bigger Problem

In addition to wearing black to the event, many of the powerful female celebrities used their platform to speak on the issue of sexual assault and what they are doing to stop and bring awareness of sexual assault in Hollywood. Viola Davis, star of ABC’s hit show ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ told the red carpet her views on the #Timesup movement and even sharing her sexual assault experience “I'm here because I hear the voices of women who said, 'Me too,' — which, one of them was me,”

Davis continued to give some powerful words to the victims of sexual assault and rape. “I hear those voices, those people who nameless faceless, every day, who don't have a platform… to talk about their sexual assault and rape,” Davis added. “It's like someone says, there's no prerequisites to worthiness. You're born worthy, and I think that's a message a lot of women need hear. The women who are still in silence because of trauma, shame due to assault. They need to understand that it's not their fault and they're not dirty. That's my message tonight.”

Oprah Winfrey was honored with the Cecil B DeMille award that night for her achievements in the television industry. Winfrey gave an almost ten minute speech on what that award means to future generations. Winfrey also spoke out on the reason that everyone was wearing black,

“So I want tonight to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue. They’re the women whose names we’ll never know. They are domestic workers and farmworkers. They are working in factories and they work in restaurants and they’re in academia, engineering, medicine and science. They’re part of the world of tech and in politics and business. They’re our athletes in the Olympics and they’re our soldiers in the military.”       Via TheDailyBeast

The question remains: did wearing black to the Golden Globes help in any way to reduce or bring awareness sexual assault in Hollywood?

Wearing black does not directly help those who are suffering from sexual assault, wearing black is a form of ineffective activism. Many agree that wearing black is not a shock factor to be remembered for decades to come, wearing black was passive and quiet. There are so many other steps of activism that could have taken place inviting victims of sexual assault to the event is one. Rose McGowan, who accused Weinstein of raping her all while Amazon studios knew about the rape, called out the actresses who decided wearing black to Golden Globes is an effective form of protest.

“Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.”

— (@rosemcgowan) December 16, 2017”   The tweet was deleted Monday Dec. 18.

The color of the dress does not change anything. No matter what these actresses wear, black or colorful, does not change or help in any way victims of sexual assault. Colors do not change the way things are, actions do. This does not take away any effort that has been put into the #Timesup fund, this is only to criticize the lack of effectiveness that wearing black to a black-tie event has towards a cause affecting millions of women and men across the world. Wearing black does not bring awareness, the public has been aware for the past year with man after man being accused of sexual misconduct.

The event was also ironic, since many of these actors wearing black have worked in the past with director Woody Allen who has been accused of assaulting and abusing his adoptive daughters in the past. James Franco, wearing the #Timesup badge on his tux, received the award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his film ‘The Disaster Artist’ and a few days later was accused of “inappropriate sexual behavior” by five women who have worked with Franco on films in the past.

And the main person who has had the spotlight of sexual assault shining on them, Harvey Weinstein, was rarely even talked about during the night. Host Seth Meyers was the only person to take a jab at Weinstein during his opening monologue.

“Harvey Weinstein isn’t here tonight because, well, I’ve heard rumors that he’s crazy and difficult to work with,” Meyers said. “But don’t worry. He’ll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person ever booed during the In Memoriam.”

Via The Daily Beast  

The movement has good intentions, but it is not taking the proper steps to get to the root of the issue. Institutions cannot keep honoring people who have had records of sexual misconduct in the past. Wearing colors does not have any direct affect on these situations, wearing colors “in protest” is a way for people to feel as if though they did something. Standing up for what is right is only the start. If only small ineffective actions are taken place to talk about an issue, especially as big as sexual assault, is time really up?