How the Golden Globes Handled Sexual Misconduct in Hollywood
Instead of being asked who they were wearing, nominated stars explained why they were wearing black at Sunday night's 75th annual Gloden Globes.
Seth Meyers promised to tackle Hollywood's sexual harassment scandals head-on at the Golden Globes. When he took the stage on Sunday night, the host followed through.
"Good evening, ladies and remaining gentlemen," said Meyers, addressing a roomful of stars in Beverly Hills, referencing the growing list of men in Hollywood who have been accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. "It's 2018, marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn't — it's going to be a good year."
Meyers continued by saying, "This has been the year of big little lies and get out, and also the year of the television series Big Little Lies and the movie Get Out. There's a new era, and I can tell, because it's been years since a white man was this nervous in Hollywood."
The current climate remained top of mind during a scathing monologue by Meyers, who told the male nominees in the room, "This is the fist time in the last three months it won't be terrifying to hear your name read out loud," and didn't take long to address the "elephant not in the room." Meyers said disgraced mogul Weinstein isn't here tonight, but "don't worry, he'll be back in 20 years when he becomes the first person to ever be booed during the In Memoriam."
Acknowledging that it would have been more appropriate for a woman to host this year's awards show, Meyers joked of the offer put out to women, "'Hey, how would you like to come and be judged by some of the most powerful people in Hollywood?' and the women were like, 'Hmm. Well where is it?' And they said, 'It's at a hotel,' and long story short, I'm your host tonight!"
Meyers also took aim at Kevin Spacey and Woody Allen and the allegations that have been leveled against them (claims Allen has denied). About the upcoming final season of House of Cards, Meyers asked, "Is Christopher Plummer available for that too?" Poking fun at Spacey's Southern accent, and receiving boos, he said, "Oh, is that too mean? To Kevin Spacey?" He then took a swipe at Allen when joking about The Shape of Water: "When I first heard about a film where a naive young woman falls in love with a disgusting sea monster I thought, "Oh man, not another Woody Allen movie.' Like Manhattan in water."
He continued the harassment jabs when enlisting audience help from the likes of Jessica Chastain, Billy Eichner and Amy Poehler, before pivoting and expressing gratitude for below-the-line workers in Hollywood.
Ahead of the annual awards show, the host of NBC's Late Night said he planned to skip jokes about the president in favor of addressing the reckoning on sexual harassment spawned by Weinstein — while still celebrating the best of 2017's film and TV. (The first part of that vow proved slightly harder to keep.)
"My first instinct was, 'Oh, this is the worst year to do it,'" he said with a laugh, referring to the spotlight that has turned on Hollywood since Weinstein and dozens of other industry stars and figures have been hit with allegations. "And then I had conversations with my wife and with the women on [the Late Night] staff, and we all agreed it's an opportunity to be able to say some things that you wouldn't be able to say in previous years."
But it was when the female actresses were called onstage to accept their awards that jokes about Hollywood harassment gave way to empowering messages to fight for equality and to end discrimination of all kinds.
Before the show, stars descended upon a nearly all-black red carpet. The last-minute Golden Globes fashion blackout was initiated in support of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements. Black was chosen to represent solidarity in standing up against sexual harassment and assault, and to promote equality.
Time’s Up buttons were displayed on gowns and tuxes, and women's rights activists walked alongside many actresses, some of whom took their moment in the spotlight to spread the message and ask viewers to make donations to the sexual harassment prevention initiative’s legal defense fund. The Time's Up initiative was started by 300 prominent Hollywood women — many who were in the room on Sunday night — to fight systemic sexual harassment in the workplace, and the fund has collected over $15 million dollars since launching Jan. 1.
Winners from Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon (Big Little Lies) to Elisabeth Moss (The Handmaid's Tale) and Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) called for female empowerment, equality and standing up against abuse when accepting their awards. Rachel Brosnahan, who took home her first Emmy, for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, encouraged creators to tell more complicated female stories in 2018.
"I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice," said winner Laura Dern (Big Little Lies) of the culture of silence. "May we also please protect and employ them. May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture's new north star."
When presenting the award for best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy, Molly's Game star Chastain cracked, "I'm so happy to announce that the winner of this category will also receive the 23 percent of her salary that went missing in the wage gap. It's not a problem as we've saved so much money kicking people out of Hollywood this year." (The award went to Saoirse Ronan for Lady Bird.)
Oprah Winfrey, who made history as the first black woman to receive the annual Cecil B. DeMille Award, called for a time when women will never have to say "Me too" again.
"For too long women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men. But their time is up," she said in a rousing speech, receiving three standing ovations. "I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon! And when that new day finally dawns it will be because of a lot of magnificent women, many of whom are right here in this room tonight, and some pretty phenomenal men fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say 'Me too' again."
After Winfrey's speech, presenter Natalie Portman called out the "all male" nominees for best director. The award went to Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water.
Best picture presenter Barbra Streisand, highlighting the fact that she is the only woman to get the best director award and that was 34 years ago, praised the people who speak out against "gender inequality, sexual harassment and a pettiness that has poisoned our politics."
And The Handmaid's Tale — a drama that imagines a dystopian patriarchal society where women are stripped of their rights, raped and forced to reproduce against their will — was a big winner of the night, taking home the trophy for best drama. "To all the people in this room and this country and this world who do everything they can to stop The Handmaid's Tale from being real, keep doing that. Thank you," said showrunner Bruce Miller while accepting the award.
The 75th annual Golden Globe Awards took place at the Beverly Hilton on Jan. 7. Tune in after the telecast for The Hollywood Reporter and Hollywood Foreign Press Association's official aftershow, live on Twitter.