The most prestigious awards nights in Hollywood are almost without fail an occasion for glamour, glitz and all the beauty and grandeur associated with the most profitable entertainment industry in the world. Yet there are rare occasions when stars would dress not to impress, but to express a statement like a protest of sort. For the Golden Globes happening on January 7 next year, stars seem to be aligning to go for that rare opportunity to protest and express, rather than impress with their gowns and outfits.
Many leading Hollywood actresses have shared plans of dressing in all-black ensembles when they walk the red carpet at the Golden Globes to protest gender inequality and sexual harassment in the industry. Fashion designers, stylists down to accessory experts are said to be busy working on a powerful all-black outfits for the who’s who Hollywood actresses.
The protest being dubbed as the red-carpet “blackout” takes off from the #MeToo movement in light of the spate of sexual assaults and harassment revelations by women who suffered abuses in the industry perpetrated by powerful men. But it does not end there. Most recent updates say the men of Hollywood will join the women in solidarity at the Golden Globes by wearing all-black outfits and suits as well.
At first glance such move of the male stars and industry shakers can be easily seen as a grand gesture. Emily Jashinsky writing an opinion piece for the Washington Examiner takes a closer look, however, at such a move and sees it for what it is - as hollow as it is grand.
Jashinsky says such is a “gesture so powerful it is certain to achieve absolutely nothing except a spike in Instagram likes from people who rightfully enjoy looking at pictures of Hugh Jackman in a tuxedo.”
The writer further says that the supposed “blackout” first appeared to be a protest for women by women even at a time when it might be counterproductive to do so since Hollywood’s “moral credibility is shot”. Jashinsky says the public would always wonder how many of those women played a role in enabling the industry’s abusers. And then she further asserts that with the men joining the move, then the protest becomes even less meaningful. Rather Jashinsky says it appears more like an opportunity for celebrities to effortlessly score cheap goodwill points.
Jashinsky also more than hints of the very strong possibility that even those actors, perhaps even some actresses, who were and are part of those problems with culture of sexual harassment or assault in the industry will also don black on January 7, “purporting to atone for their sins and offer their support.”
But all those grand gestures will all come empty, if not fake, if the past enablers and the guilty do not really take responsibilty for their mistakes. Acting can only take such Hollywood actors and players so much.