The 2018 Golden Globes was swathed in a sea of black. Almost every single woman collectively wore black in solidarity after a banner year for the ongoing conversation in Hollywood about sexual harassment. But they didn’t just show up wearing black. Many of them brought gender and racial equality activists as their dates in lieu of their partners, and, in their few minutes of the public stage, women spoke largely of endemic sexual harassment in this country and the industry-shattering stories of abuse perpetrated by powerful men. Men, on the other hand, didn't quite handle the night the same way.
Nicole Kidman set the tone for the evening when she accepted the first award for her role as a domestic-assault survivor in the HBO miniseries, Big Little Lies. She spoke of “the power of women,” when she said, “I do believe, and I hope, we can elicit change through the stories we tell and the way we tell them.”
Laura Dern, too, called for “restorative justice” and for support for “survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth.” “May we also please protect and employ them,” she continued. “May we teach our children that speaking out without the fear of retribution is our culture’s new North Star.”
Frances McDormand, who won for her role as a mother who takes on a small town police force while seeking justice for her murdered daughter in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, also spoke of a “tectonic shift” in the industry. She said, “Trust me, the women in this room tonight are not here for the food; We are here for the work.”
Meanwhile, Barbara Streisand noted that she’s still the only woman to win a Golden Globe for directing, and Natalie Portman announced the nominees for the Best Director category by saying with a deadpan undertone, "And here are the all-male nominees."
Oprah Winfrey also got a standing ovation for her tear-jerking speech that’s sure to make awards-show history. Her powerfully concluding words were: “I want all the girls watching here, 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.” As for the perpetrators of harassment and abuse, she said, "Their time is up.”
And while many men also wore “Time’s Up” pins on their black jackets, not a single one of them mentioned neither that campaign nor #MeToo. In fact, outside of Seth Meyer’s opening monologue that took digs at Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Space and Woody Allen, they didn’t mention anything about the sexual harassment and assault problem plaguing the industry.
Instead, while accepting their awards, they thanked their mothers, partners, agents and even Italy for its food. But standing on the public stage before a room of emboldened women and 19 million people watching — and waiting — from their living rooms, not one of the male winners of the night verbally advocated for their female counterparts.
Alexander Skarsgård (Big Little Lies), Alexandre Desplat (The Shape of Water), Sam Rockwell (The Shape of Water), James Franco (The Disaster Artist), Martin McDonagh (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Ewan McGregor (Fargo), Aziz Ansari (Master of None) and Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water) kept mum.
Two men came close — Gary Oldman who won best actor for Darkest Hour and Bruce Miller, the executive producer of award-winning drama The Handmaid’s Tale. Oldman said, “I’m very proud of Darkest Hour; it illustrates that words and actions can change the world, and boy oh boy does it need some changing.” Meanwhile, Miller said, “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 becoming real, keep doing that.”
The world needs changing, but Oldman wouldn’t say that it needs to change for women. There were people in the room that actively make sure The Handmaid’s Tale never becomes a reality, but Miller was talking to “those people” in the room not “us,” not himself included.
Whether conscious or subconscious, it became clear that women in the room, were left with the labor of explaining the significance of #MeToo and Time’s Up alone. It became evermore obvious that the issues facing women in Hollywood are considered their problems to solve and, for men in the industry, it’s business as usual.
Maybe it wasn’t purposeful that not a single man used his moment on Golden Globes stage to say something, anything before the millions of viewers watching. But wearing a black tuxedo isn’t enough. Men to speak up, too.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.