Globes red carpet experienced a blackout. Many stars were banding together in search of all-black dresses and outfits to make a statement against the epidemic of sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and beyond. the coordinated wardrobe effort was part of a campaign called Time’s Up. With more than 300 figures in the entertainment industry signed on. The initiative aims to fight sexual harassment, assault and inequality for women in all kinds of workplaces. The campaign has raised more than $15 million for a legal defense fund for people who have experienced workplace harassment and is encouraging Globes attendees and supporters everywhere to wear black as a show of unity and power.
Actress Eva Longoria gave this statement to the New York Times about the blackout, “this is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment,” she said, “For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour. This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That’s not what this moment is about.
Meryl Streep told Ryan Seacrest of E! News that she wore black to stand in solidarity with others trying to right the power imbalance that leads to sexual abuse. “We want to fix that and we feel sort of emboldened in this particular moment to stand together in a thick black line.”
Many designers were asked to remake originally chosen dresses in black. One such designer was Naeem Khan, “this was a big challenge,” he said. “The logistics of making it and shipping are tough, but I know will be worth it. The gown has been redesigned in a way that is specific to her personality and the empowered message we’re sending for the evening.”
Despite the major financial success and support the blackout produced for the Time’s Up campaign, there is some controversy on whether or not the blackout actually did its job. XX Factor writer Christina Cauterucci believed the protest fell flat. “If all Time’s Up does is raise a few dozen millions for legal defense funds and encourage famous women to sass red-carpet reporters about sexism, it will have done good. But any lasting change will require the participation of men who, as my colleague Willa Paskin noted, barely addressed the protest at all on Sunday and the capacity to sustain their momentum after the black dresses go back in the closet and the memory of Weinstein, God willing, fades. A movement that kicks off with wardrobe coordination risks mutating into a meaningless trend.”
Actress Rose McGowan had also had some not so nice feelings about the Blackout tweeting: “Your silence is the problem, “you’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change.” in tweet directed at Meryl Streep and other actors last month who she criticized for failing to speak out earlier and louder.
Pret-a-Reporter writer Sarah Gidick also felt the blackout missed the mark. “I am a sexual assault survivor who once exclusively wore black. I’m one of the lucky ones — my rapist is in jail. Black was my color of choice for years. I was mourning the person I once was, hiding my body from men. Black sunglasses, black leather jackets, black eyeliner. It sent people a message: “Stay away.” Black goes perfectly with shame. I simply matched the darkest period of my life. Part of my own therapy included learning how to wear color again. I find “solidarity” an interesting word choice when it comes to assault, because nothing is more isolating than being raped. I haven’t observed any tangible change in this fact in the last five years. When Rose McGowan called out actresses planning to wear black to the Globes, I agreed with her. I wonder how many of these actresses who are wearing black have ever spoken to anyone who has experienced abuse and assault. I wonder if these celebrities know about the all-consuming darkness a rape survivor has to learn to see through, or why some of the actresses participating have depicted some of the most triggering scenes in film and television for abuse victims? Is this red-carpet blackout a meaningful moment that will truly make a profound statement, or just a Hollywood stunt?”
I loved that everyone, men and women came together in unity to show support for an issue that needs to be resolved. As a person who has fallen victim to sexual assualt, any support and recognition given to this is better than acting like it never happened. this whole protest was to draw attention to the problem and let victims knows that people hear them and are here to help draw attention to this problem. This blackout is just the beginning. Victims will no longer be silenced and powerful men will not get away with using and abusing their power to exploit and disrespect women. Our voices will be heard!