A month ago, it was revealed that some of Hollywood’s most famous faces wouldn’t be donning their usual bedazzled, colourful dresses on the Golden Globes red carpet.
Instead, as they prepare to attend the first awards ceremony of 2018 the women – and yes, some men, too – would be wearing all black, part of a visual protest of Hollywood’s culture of harassment and abuse that was exposed in the last quarter of 2017.
In the months leading up to the Golden Globes ceremony, some of the mightiest names in the movie industry have fallen: Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K., Brett Ratner, Dustin Hoffman and Steven Seagal.
And the women of Hollywood are saying enough is enough. And they want the world to know it.
Last week, some of the industry’s most recognisable names – think Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes – launched an anti-harassment coalition, named Time’s Up.
LISTEN: Tracey Spicer discusses the year that was #MeToo on Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues after audio.
The initiative, which includes a $15 million legal defence fund (the money was donated by stars themselves), aims to advocate for legislation to combat workplace harassment for women in every position.
That means those in the entertainment industry, as well as healthcare workers, teachers, janitors and everyone in between.
“Time’s up on silence. Time’s up on waiting. Time’s up on tolerating discrimination, harassment and abuse,” reads the campaign’s catch cry.
So why have women associated with the Time’s Up campaign, like Gal Gadot, Saoirse Ronan and Mary J. Blige, chosen black as their colour of choice for the red carpet protest?
While the aim is to ‘blackout’ sexual harassment and abuse in industry’s all over the world, there’s also a more democratic reason behind the choice: almost everyone, and every designer, has something black to choose from.
“Black has always had really complicated and multifaceted meanings,” director of the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Valerie Steele, told The New York Post.
“It’s a very powerful colour.”
While there are still hours to go until stars start arriving to walk the red carpet, many are already sharing their reasons for getting involved in the protest, using the hasthtag #WhyWeWearBlack.
Reese Witherspoon, who’s nominated for a Golden Globe for her role in mini-series Big Little Lies shared she was wearing black on behalf of the one in three women aged 18-34 who have been sexually harassed at work.
“TODAY is the day!” she shared with her 11.5 million Instagram followers.
“We wear black for many reasons,” actress Eva Longoria shared on her Instagram story.
“To support the brave women who have come out with their stories and to those who are still silenced, we are with you.”
“We wear black because we’re looking forward to a new day where the powerful do not exploit others,”actress Natalie Portman, who appeared with Eva in the video, added.
Big Little Lies star Laura Dern also added her reasons for wearing the shade.
“I wear black because time’s up on imbalance and abuse of power,” she said.
Brie Larson – who last year had to present alleged perpetrator Casey Affleck with an award – said she would be wearing black at the Golden Globes to “stand with the 90 per cent of restaurant workers who have reported that they have experienced sexual harassment.”
“You can wear black too!” she added.
Of course, it’s not just the women of the film and television industry who are getting involved – Avengers actor Mark Ruffalo said he would also be wearing black “in solidarity with the men and women asking for respect and equality across industry lines”.
Wearing black today in solidarity with the men and women asking for respect and equality across industry lines. Let’s bring a stop to sexual harassment in the workplace. Join us in wearing black and saying #TimesUp.#WhyWeWearBlack @TIMESUPNOW pic.twitter.com/rFkBxOhV0t
— Mark Ruffalo (@MarkRuffalo) January 7, 2018
Rosario Dawson shared her own video on Instagram, telling her followers that wearing black was a “symbol of solidarity”.
“The death knell has struck on abuse of power…it’s time to celebrate each other, not just the nominees on our film and television screens, but the storytellers who have bravely and courageously shared their personal stories which have liberated so many of us.
“Me too. Thank you Rose McGowan, Olivia Munn, Salma Hayek… Gabrielle Union, Ellen Page, Terry Crews, Anthony Rapp. Thank you for courageously sharing your stories and signalling this moment. Time’s up.”
Other stars, including Jennifer Lopez, Kerry Washington, America Ferrera, and Orange Is The New Black star Uzo Aduba, also shared their reasons for protesting on social media.