For the longest time, red carpet hosts have been chastised for querying actresses about their sartorial choices and relationships instead of something more substantive like their roles or inspirations. Thus began the campaign #AskHerMore back in 2015, in which hosts are urged to look beyond the couture, the glamour and the bling. People often forget that female stars, who are constantly pressured to display mannequin-like sublimity all the time, are invited to award shows for their extraordinary performances, not to paricipate in a pageantry schtick like parading their bejewelled hand in front of a demeaning Mani-Cam that eventually received a well-deserved finger by Elisabeth Moss.
But this doesn't mean that what celebrities wear isn’t worthy of discussion because an outfit, essentially, is a form of self-expression; a demonstration of personal idea and choice. The limitations and stereotypes as to how we define clothes, or fashion in general, have been overthrown.
This year’s Golden Globes is a sound example of that. The award show was an outward reflection of what a majority of Hollywood female stars feel inside: oppressed, bullied and exploited. Women defined the agenda of the evening, wearing black gowns as part of the initiative Time’s Up to show solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct. Curated by some 300 prominent actresses, writers, directors and entertainment executives, the coordinated effort boasts a US$14 million legal defense fund for women in less privileged professions. Actors such as Justin Timberlake, Ewan McGregor and Daniel Kaluuya also demonstrated their allegiance to the movement by wearing the Time's Up pin on their lapels.
The #WhyWeWearBlack campaign aside, numerous actresses have also expressed their support for particular causes by bringing activists as their guests. Laura Dern came with Mónica Ramírez, co-founder and president of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas, an organisation that aims to end exploitation of female farmworkers; Amy Poehler with Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and director of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, which seeks to protect the rights of immigrant restaurant workers; Emma Watson with Marai Larasi, executive director of Imkaan, a UK-based black feminist organisation that helps prevent violence against marginalised women and girls.
The Globes proceeded with many memorable highlights, including the banter between Poehler and host Seth Meyer where she accused him of ‘mansplaining’, and later reclaimed her wine. Here are more key moments of the evening that stood out.
5. Debra Messing calls out E! on gender pay gap
(Video credit: E!)
The Will and Grace star takes a swipe at E! during a pre-show interview on the red carpet for allegedly not paying its female hosts as much as its male hosts.
“We want diversity, we want intersectional gender parity, we want equal pay… I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts. I mean, I miss Catt Sadler. We stand with her and that’s something that can change tomorrow. We want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men.”
4. Greta Gerwig takes the stage
(Video credit: NBC)
A producer usually does the honours when a film wins for motion picture – musical or comedy. But Eli Bush of Lady Bird ceded the spotlight to the film’s writer-director, Gerwig. The latter, along with several women directors, was snubbed from being nominated in the best director category.
3. The sassy Frances McDormand on her win (and buying fellow nominees tequila)
(Video credit: NBC)
“It was really great to be in this room tonight. And to be part of the tectonic shift in our industry’s power structure. Trust me, the women in this room tonight are not here for the food. We are here for the work, thank you.”
2. Natalie Portman’s not-so-subtle jab at the all-male directors category
(Video credit: NBCNews.com)
Possibly the most succinct way of summarising the gender disparity in Hollywood. #burn
1. Oprah’s electrifying speech
Oprah Winfrey, who accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award for ‘outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment’ delivered a rousing speech that reminded Hollywood of its role to encourage and inspire those without a voice and platform.
(Video credit: NBC)
“So 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.”
Read the full text here.
The 75th Golden Globe Awards took place on Jan 8 at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California.