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Why Actresses Will Be Wearing Black on the Golden Globes Red Carpet

The color is a symbol of protest.
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Expect the Golden Globes red carpet to be a bit less colorful this year. Actresses will reportedly be wearing black to the award show in protest of sexual harassment and inequality in Hollywood.

The coordinated black-out is an initiative by Time's Up, a new movement launched by powerful women working in film, television, and theater (including actresses, directors, executives, producers, and agents) to fight against systemic sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and beyond. In addition to the public protest, the group, which includes 300 women, has also launched a legal defense fund to support underprivileged women in less prominent fields who report sexual harassment. Per the New York Times, the group is also launching initiatives to fight for both gender parity in Hollywood at the executive level, and legislation "to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment, and to discourage the use of nondisclosure agreements to silence victims."

The group's coming out moment will be Sunday night, as these women walk the red carpet outside the Beverly Hilton Hotel. "This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment," Eva Longoria told the New York Times. "For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour. This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around."

Certainly Time's Up should be commended for the work they're doing to support victims of sexual harassment, but Sunday's symbolic gesture isn't without criticism. Writer Christina Cauterucci opined on Slate.com, "If this is what Time’s Up counts as activism, the initiative is doomed," pointing out that black tuxes for men are a given at awards shows, so this protest is requiring work and action of only women.

In a now-deleted tweet, Rose McGowan, who has been a vocal force in the recent Hollywood reckoning, specifically called out Meryl Streep.

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"Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest. YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You'll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa," she wrote, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (The Pig Monster here is a not-so-veiled reference to Harvey Weinstein; Marchesa is a fashion line by his estranged wife Georgina Chapman.)

Streep replied to the criticism in a statement, which reads in part, "It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein's crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others. I wasn't deliberately silent. I didn't know. I don't tacitly approve of rape. I didn't know. I don't like young women being assaulted. I didn't know this was happening."

She continued, "Rose assumed and broadcast something untrue about me, and I wanted to let her know the truth...I am truly sorry she sees me as an adversary, because we are both, together with all the women in our business, standing in defiance of the same implacable foe: a status quo that wants so badly to return to the bad old days, the old ways where women were used, abused and refused entry into the decision-making, top levels of the industry. That's where the cover-ups convene. Those rooms must be disinfected, and integrated, before anything even begins to change."

This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.

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Caroline Hallemann
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