Reese Witherspoon and fellow castmembers accept the award for Best Television Limited Series for Big Little Lies
Winners mounting the stage to make their acceptance speech at last night’s Golden Globe awards looked out over a sea of black.
The majority of female guests, including A-listers such as Reese Witherspoon and Meryl Streep eschewed colourful gowns for the ceremony, instead proceeding along the red carpet dressed in stylish but sombre black.
Women from all branches of the entertainment industry adopted the funereal dress code to signal their solidarity with the #MeToo movement and their support for Time’s Up, a new initiative to stand up to sexual harassment.
Eva Longoria, a founding member of Time’s Up, told the New York Times last week that the all-black dress code was “not a fashion moment”.
“For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colours and our beautiful faces and our glamour,” she said. “This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That’s not what this moment is about.”
Reese Witherspoon told Vanity Fair that the shadow of the #MeToo revelations that have rocked Hollywood meant that the first major awards ceremony of the year “couldn’t just be business as normal”.
The public display of solidarity is particularly important given the “trauma” and “shame” experienced by many survivors of sexual assault, Oscar winner Viola Davis told Vanity Fair.
“They need to understand that it’s not their fault and they’re not dirty. That’s my message tonight,” she said.
Meryl Streep, whose plus-one for the night was workers’ rights activist Ai-jen Poo, said that the choice of clothing represented Hollywood women’s determination to draw a “black line” beneath the era of exploitation and abuse in the workplace.
Meryl Streep and director of the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance Ai-jen Poo
“We feel emboldened in a thick black line dividing then from now,” she said.
Michelle Williams was accompanied to the ceremony by Tarana Burke, the activist who originally coined the #MeToo hashtag, while Emma Stone was escorted by tennis legend and LGBT pioneer Billie Jean King, whom she played in 2017 biopic Battle of the Sexes.
Michelle Williams, America Ferrara, Jessica Chastain and Amy Poehler
Emma Watson, Susan Sarandon, Amy Poehler and Shailene Woodley were among the other celebrities who chose to invite prominent feminists, workers’ rights advocates and social justice activists as their plus-ones to the ceremony.