The 75th Golden Globe Awards was ripe with social and political commentary. Almost all attendees dressed in black, in a premeditated show of support for the newly launched Time's Up movement. Time's Up, a call for action, as well as a legal, legislative and policy committee and a legal defense fund, takes a stand against sexual harassment and inequality. It was spurred on by the 2017 #MeToo wave that shed light on violence and intimidation against women in Hollywood and beyond.
Eight prominent actresses invited respected social justice activists as their dates to the glamorous awards ceremony. One of the activist dates, Monica Ramirez, had written a letter to women in Hollywood, calling for action, and the actresses responded.
So honored and humbled to have the chance to spread the word about #TimesUp with these incredible, unstoppable women tonight. Learn more and donate at https://t.co/DkAbuhCOF1. #GoldenGlobes— Susan Sarandon (@SusanSarandon) January 8, 2018
📸: Art Streiber pic.twitter.com/PeR5r6k2Qq
Meryl Streep brought Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Ai-jen Poo represented the millions of farmworkers, housecleaners and home care workers that "work in the shadows of the economy," as described on their site. In an interview with Entertainment News, she said she hopes people see the momentum and energy of the Time's Up movement.
"We're uniting across all industries and all communities, standing together, saying we all deserve workplaces where we're safe, our work is valued and we can live and work with dignity," Poo said. "That's the future and we have momentum."
Streep, her arm wrapped tightly around her friend, said, "I think people are aware now of a power imbalance that leads to abuse. We feel emboldened in this particular moment, to stand together, in a thick black line, dividing then from now."
Shailene Woodley walked the red carpet with Calina Lawrence, a member of the Suquamish Tribe from Washington State. Woodley made headlines in 2016 when she joined the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, alongside hundreds of other Indigenous peoples, Nations and tribes, against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Lawrence is an "art-ivist" who travels around the United States, advocating for Native Treaty Rights, the "Mni Wiconi: water is life" movement and the #NOLNG253 movement.
Emma Stone brought LGBTQ* and women's rights advocate Billie Jean King, who Stone played in the film Battle of the Sexes. Monica Ramirez accompanied actress Laura Dern. Ramirez is the co-founder and president of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (National Alliance of Female farmworkers).
Longtime feminist Hermione Granger, otherwise known as Emma Watson, invited Marai Larasi, executive director of the UK-based black feminist organization Imkaan. Susan Sarandon brought media justice advocate Rosa Clemente. In an interview with Access Hollywood, Clemente said she knew Sarandon through their work together in the Green party. Clemente also started a project #PRONTHEMAP, attempting to share the undocumented stories of the Puerto Rican people.
"We wanna let people know to this day, half of the people are there without power," Clemente said, in a red-carpet interview with Access Hollywood. "90 per cent of people don't have access to clean water."
Actress and comedian Amy Poehler brought Saru Jayaraman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. Jayaraman is the author of a new book Forked: A New Standard for American Dining, a book about restaurant workers' realities and rights.
"Last night wasn't just about Hollywood, women wearing black, a show of solidarity," Jayaraman said in an interview with reporter Amy Goodman of Democracy Now. "In our case, because of last night and everything it represents, we're seeing real policy change. Governor Cuomo in New York has suggested he will move forward to eliminate lower wages for tipped workers in New York."
Jayaraman identified low wages for tipped workers as a primary source of harassment in the restaurant industry. Meanwhile, last month, president Donald Trump announced a new rule that would force workers to share tips with their employers. That rule is still open for public debate.
Finally, actress Michelle Williams brought the #MeToo movement founder and director of Girls for Equality, Tarana Burke. Burke told the New York Times the #MeToo campaign sought to give a voice to sexual abuse victims and said the Golden Globes blackout was a way to provide further representation to marginalized women.
The #MeToo movement came to life after countless women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations against celebrated American film producer Harvey Weinstein last fall. The hashtag went viral across all social media platforms as women shared their own experiences of sexual harassment, assault, rape and trauma. Women led a conversation about gender inequality in Hollywood, but also in their own lives and workplaces.
Actress Selma Hayek was one of many actresses who came forward with her own account of harassment against Weinstein. In the article, Hayek details resisting Weinstein's sexual advances multiple times, working under duress and terror. Joining the Time's Up momentum, Hayek also wore a long black dress to the event.
Other actresses spoke out against gender inequality when they took to the stage, including Elisabeth Moss, who won best actress in a T.V. drama series, for The Handmaid's Tale.
"We no longer live in the blank white spaces at the edge of print," Moss said, referring to a quote by The Handmaid's Tale author Margaret Atwood. "We no longer live in the gaps between the story. We are the story in print and we are writing the story ourselves.”
When announcing the nominees for best director, Natalie Portman chipped in, "and here are the all-male nominees." Nicole Kidman dedicated her award for her performance in Big Little Lies, a show about abuse, to the strength and resilience of her mother, an advocate for the women's movement.
It was the first time the Golden Globes became so unabashedly feminist, but a night of other firsts as well.
Actor Sterling K. Brown became the first African-American actor to win best actor in a T.V. drama. In his speech, Brown said his character in the show This is Us, allowed him to act, be recognized and appreciated as himself, a black man. Aziz Ansari became the first Asian actor to win an award for best actor in a T.V. comedy.
And Oprah Winfrey became the first black woman to be awarded the Cecil B. Demille Award for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment."
Winfrey gave a powerful speech, congratulating women in Hollywood and across the world for their bravery in coming forward and speaking out against harassment and violence.
She praised the press for reporting accurate facts, saying, "What I know for sure is that speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we have."
Winfrey yelled into the mic, "I want all the girls watching here today to know, that a new day is on the horizon." A new day, she said, "when nobody has to say 'me too' again."