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Golden Globes: Valuing Appearance Over Protest

The 2017 Golden Globes aired January 7 on NBC at 8 p.m. Unlike previous years, this year’s ceremony was taking place in a time where the patriarchy of Hollywood has seen many of its esteemed leaders, like Harvey Weinstein and Woody Allen, take a very public fall from grace.

Online movements such as #metoo, have drawn attention to the sexual harassment women and men in Hollywood have faced at the hands of these men in power. It seems like every day a new actor, writer or producer comes forward with a harrowing story of being victimized by a man in Hollywood whom the victim believed to be trustworthy.

This year, in solidarity with the Time’s Up movement and survivors of sexual assault, actors and actresses wore black. Viola Davis, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington and Tracee Ellis Ross were among some of the celebrities who wore black. While some applauded this stance, others were critical that it was not enough.

Is wearing a color in solidarity powerful, or would the truest impact have been made if these actresses abstained from attending the awards ceremony altogether? Without a woman in sight, would the media or the men of Hollywood reflect on the way women are treated?

James Franco wore black and even sported a Time’s Up pin but was accused of several counts of sexual misconduct towards female students. It is easy to wear a color, but it is hard to take a vocal stance supporting the action.

Seth Meyers did his best to make light of the current climate, even cracking a joke at the fact that the show couldn’t find a woman who would host the show, but, as a white man in the entertainment industry, his jokes came out with a nervous energy, like he was apologizing for the actions of others.

Sexual harassment and the issue of men in power demeaning men and women transcends the entertainment industry. It permeates every industry and even college campuses. So, what do we do? How does one put an end to an issue that has its roots so deep in the ground that nothing else can grow? Acceptance and admitting that there is a problem is always the first step in recovery.

Maybe you’ve seen it, maybe it’s happened to you, or maybe you’ve done it to someone else, but sexual harassment and assault do exist. Once we take the time to recognize its existence, we can take action. Start small if you must. Go public as a supporter of survivors of sexual harassment and assault.

Tweet it, post it, start a campaign, write an article or do something to let survivors know there are safe places and people near them. Hold others accountable for what they say and do. If someone has gone his or her whole life making crude remarks, gestures or unwanted advances, he or she might feel empowered to continue their path of victimization.

Stay knowledgeable of laws, court cases and movements happening around you, and find ways to aid in the cause. Take an intersectional approach to your views as well. People of color and people of the LGBTQ community often feel like they will not be listened to as they are often not at the forefront of media attention. Finally, encourage others in the community to do the same.

 

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