In the end, almost everyone did as they were asked, and wore black to the 75th Golden Globes on Sunday night. At least, the women did. About half the men — a late addition to the fashion activism program — traded in the traditional white-shirt-with-black tie for a black-shirt-with-black tie. They didn’t really matter. It was the women who made the statement.
Despite fears beforehand about how a sea of black might look (“funereal” and “depressing” were some of the adjectives that came up in conversations; also “superficial”), the result was one of the most elegant, genuinely chic red carpets I’ve seen in Hollywood. Given meaning by the words the female winners uttered onstage.
There was some carping by those who felt the statement didn’t go far enough, or was typical tokenism. I’d argue that was the issue with the men, who showed their support with little Time’s Up pins but not words. (Pins are easy; speeches are harder.) But then, revolution wasn’t necessarily the goal. Reform was.
Pointedly, instead of erasing the details of dress, the mass choice to wear a single shade actually highlighted subtleties of style. This was not the red carpet of the “The Handmaid’s Tale.” It was more 500 Shades of Black.
“Tonight is about women wearing the pants, so I chose to literally wear the pants,” said Alison Brie of her outfit — a strapless princess ball gown atop a pair of cigarette pants — and she wasn’t the only one. Women wearing the trousers was one of the major trends of the night, literally and metaphorically.
If black seemed, initially, to be a restrictive dress code (and certainly men complain about it all the time), the reality was that the Beverly Hilton was full of individual interpretations of what, exactly, it could mean (which should show the complainers that they just need to think a little more creatively about their options).
Debra Messing, who used her moment on the red carpet being interviewed by Giuliana Rancic of E! to call out the network for a pay gap between male and female anchors.
Talking to E!’s presenter, Rancic, about the goals of Time’s Up, Messing said female stars wanted “diversity, intersectional gender parity [and] we want equal pay”.
But the Will & Grace star then turned directly on E! about its row over Sadler, who had long hosted the entertainment channel’s E! News – before leaving in December.
“I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn’t believe in paying their female co-host the same as their male co-host,” Messing said to Rancic.
In a separate red carpet interview with Seacrest, Longoria also picked up on the loss of Sadler.
“With Time’s Up, we support gender equity and equal pay, and we hope E! follows that lead with Catt, as well. We stand with you, Catt,” Longoria told the E! presenter.
Longoria was accompanied by actresses Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon, with all three wearing black to show solidarity with sexual assault victims.
… When one of your lifelong heroes validates your cause. I am getting more emotional by the minute.
Thank you @_juliannemoore for being a constant light in this industry and using your voice for change for all. Sending you huge heaps of love. ❤️
— catt sadler (@IAmCattSadler) January 7, 2018
Seacrest put a brave face on Longoria’s directness.
“We love Catt. We love her,” he replied.
There was a lot of talk Sunday night about a new order in Hollywood; women seizing the day and their rights. That includes the right to remake the red-carpet experience. Here’s hoping it continues — through this awards season, and the next.