The Seventy-fifth Golden Globe awards ceremony was held January 7, 2018 with all of the usual glitz and glamour that we would all expect. However; this year was a bit different as it was the first major Hollywood gathering since the plethora of sexual harassment claims made against some of Hollywood’s most famous players in the production industry such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. Beloved actresses such as Selma Blair and Rachel McGowen are just a few of the alleged victims. The total number of actors making accusations is said to be close to 300.
The steady stream of famous actresses who spoke out about their experiences with sexual harassment on Hollywood sets and sound stages led to the creation #metoo in which survivors of sexual harassment and assault shared and continue to share their stories on the internet. The #metoo generation has created quite a stir in the Los Angeles community and led to a world-wide discussion about sexual harassment, abuse and assault.
This first major gathering of actors and actresses who took part in the #metoo movement was marked by a trend of starlets bringing activists as their dates. Michele Williams showed up with creator of the hashtag for #metoo, Tarana Burke. Emma Stone brought activist and domestic violence opponent; Marai Larasi. Several of the stars wore head-to-toe black as a statement about their experience with sexual misconduct. The actresses gathered in a group for both serious photographs and photographs that looked as if the stars were saying “ We are banding together and having a hell of a time doing it”.
Tensions were high as the accused and the accusers mulled around on the red carpet. The Beverly Hills air hung heavy as few seemed to want to address the “elephant in the room”. In fact, outrage was sparked when the actor, James Franco one an award and caused two actresses to come forward accusing him of sexual misconduct. Male actors that gave speeches were quickly criticized for not mentioning #metoo or #timeisup.
Oprah Winfrey, in her Hollywood goddess-like way, shared a tearfully intense and stoic speech in which she mentioned being a woman in an industry that is “…broken by brutally powerful men…(b)ut their time is up”. Oprah was referencing the second hashtag phenomenon after #metoo; the #timeisup. The room seemed to feel like a trusted authority had finally spoken on the subject as she accepted her Cecil B. DeMille, lifetime achievement award.
However; not all actors are so easily sold on the new hashtag movements. Catherine Deneuve, French actress, claims that #metoo is a witch hunt. Deneuve, amongst a handful of other famous French actresses signed a public document, two days after the Golden Globe Awards, denouncing the #metoo movement. Their argument is that sexual harassment is really an inconvenience to the “victim” and that people who truly have liberty have the right to inconvenience other people. Sexual misconducted is quoted by the French actresses as “persistently and clumsily hitting on someone”.
Surely, the backlash to this statement will be epic. While both sides of the argument have compelling points, one thing is for sure; the movement is going to change the way people in the industry treat each other on movie sets and sound stages around the globe.
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