For the past few months, sexual harassment and its presence in Hollywood has opened up the conversation of what should be done. Which measures can we put in place to, at the very least, help those dealing with such issues? Hollywood has spoken, and the likes of Meryl Streep, Reese Witherspoon, Susan Sarandon, Emma Watson and many other actresses have teamed up with activists and other leaders of industry to create the organisation and movement, Time’s Up. The organisation’s Legal Defence Fund provides subsidised legal support to those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault or abuse in the workshop.
The most recent Golden Globe awards proved the most apt platform for showcasing the fervour and passion behind the Time’s Up movement, and how did the majority of actresses choose to physically display this? Black gowns, black suits, and a unification between men and women in Hollywood unlike before. Showing progress through blackness. At surface value, it’s questionable to use black as a sign of a new era, with strong connotations towards mourning. There, of course, must be an acknowledgement for the unjust and simply put, disgusting behaviour that has occurred. However, from a sartorial standpoint, there is a different kind of beauty a black gown or suit possesses. A rebirth of sorts.
At the event itself those at the forefront of the movement, such as Ava Duvernay stated her reason for wearing a dark colour this year, stating ‘It is standing side by side with other like-minded people who believe in justice and dignity for all, it’s really simple. This is not an end all, be all, it’s not a solution to a systemic problem, but I think it’s important for people like us who have this spotlight on us to turn that light on an issue that’s larger than ourselves’. Eloquently put, Duvernay is more than aware of the world’s eyes watching, looking to Hollywood as an example of how to behave about such important matters, and wearing black at the Globes more than anything, is a display of sameness, solidarity and hope.
Adding to the already impactful protest of wearing black, beloved TV Personality and philanthropist, Oprah Winfrey was awarded the prestigious Cecil B. de Mille award, and reminded the public once again, why Oprah is always a suitable voice for the people. In her empowering speech, Oprah and her charming oratory gives us hope as women, as men and in the Time’s Up movement.
Winfrey unabashedly asserts, ‘I’ve interviewed and portrayed people who’ve withstood some of the ugliest things life can throw at you, but the one quality all of seem to share is the ability to maintain hope for a brighter morning, even during our darkest nights. 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’.
Black –what was a colour of the past, is now a colour for a new era.
For more of Oprah’s incredible speech, check out the link below: