Golden Globes 2018: What Hollywood's response to the #MeToo movement means, beyond black dresses

FP Staff

Jan,08 2018 18:59:54 IST

The Golden Globes 2018 were a reminder of a glaring schism. It encapsulated everything that is wrong and everything that is right with not just Hollywood, but the world, at large. From honouring the survivors of sexual abuse and reviving the pay gap debate, to bringing up representation of women of colour, and strengthening the #MeToo movement, the men and women of Hollywood came together. They (somewhat) proved that black, is the colour of activism, indeed (stars were dressed in black as a mark of support to victims of sexual harassment and abuse).

Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. Image from AP/Jordan Strauss

Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley. Image from AP/Jordan Strauss

However, some people do find the veracity of promises made at award functions questionable. For some, these functions are nothing but star-studded platforms for rich celebrities to take shallow pledges that they will probably forget about the next morning.

Rose McGowan, who was one of the first few women to publicly call out the likes of Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, blasted Meryl Streep in a tweet a little while ago, which now stands deleted. She criticised Meryl Streep for "honouring" the rape victims by wearing black when she, herself, worked with Weinstein. “You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change,” she said, according to New York Post. She has a point, since some stars are grappling with the perfect response to this unfortunate storm (hint: Matt Damon).

 

However, there is no denying the fact that although guilty of harbouring the culprits and enabling them, Hollywood was also exceptionally reactive to the scandals. When the Harvey Weinstein story was broken, prestigious bodies like the, Oscars Academy, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Television Academy and Directors and Producers Guild of America to name a few.

After Weinstein, allegations of sexual misconduct against Kevin Spacey surfaced and the actor was expelled from Netflix's flagship show House of Cards. The announcement of his ouster came rather quickly and shook things up substantially, leading to more revelations about Hollywood's murky secrets. Netflix also scrapped a Louis CK special after five women accused the comedian of sexual misconduct. The streaming giant might have felt like a fish out of water in the situations, but its timely actions were acknowledged and duly appreciated.

Soon after, Spacey was removed from another big-ticket project — Ridley Scott's All The Money In The World — and all the actors reunited to reshoot the film with his replacement, Christopher Plummer. “I sat and thought about it and realized, we cannot. You can’t tolerate any kind of behavior like that. And it will affect the film. We cannot let one person’s action affect the good work of all these other people. It’s that simple,” Scott was quoted saying to Entertainment Weekly.

Spacey's expulsion gave momentum to the movement, and with stars like Gal Gadot stepping in to take control of films from sexual harassers, it became more accessible and real-er. Gadot, Hollywood's Wonder Woman, reportedly threatened to pull out of Wonder Woman 2 if Brett Ratner was going to be a part of it. Ratner, who stands accused of sexual harassment, was removed from the franchise in all capacities, owing to pressure from Gadot.

Another blow came after sexual assault allegations against Gossip Girl star Ed Westwick emerged. Following suit, BBC halted production on a TV show starring the accused and scrapped an Agatha Christie adaptation with the actor in it. The police continue investigating the claims, as Westwick denies the allegations.

After multiple mostly successful attempts at toppling harassers and sexual harassment-accused from positions of power, came the ultimate confrontation. A persistent John Oliver questioning an uncomfortable and unapologetic Dustin Hoffman at a panel discussion. It was embarrassing to see Hoffman struggling to excuse himself from the shame that came with allegations of him harassing a young girl years ago. The night ended with an embarrassed Hoffman and Oliver's Twitter being swamped with thankful messages from people all over.

Therefore, the black gowns and the black tuxedos might not be all that candid, but there is thought and effort of a lot of people, who form organisations and that should not go unnoticed. And of course, for everything else there's Oprah.

Updated Date: Jan 08, 2018 18:59 PM