75th Annual Golden Globe Awards host Seth Myers opened the evening by greeting the ladies and ‘remaining gentlemen’ in the audience, clearly setting the activist tone for the rest of the night. But it appears that those gentlemen didn’t follow his lead, as male award winners entirely failed to address the #TimesUp campaign against sexual harassment in their acceptance speeches.
Myers threw a ball out for them to catch, and they all ducked. As the biggest Hollywood gathering to take place since the outpouring of sexual harassment allegations against Harvey Weinstein (and co) late last year, the world was on alert as to who would say what, and how. Actresses showed up on the red carpet in black gowns, and addressed the entertainment industry’s sexual harassment endemic in all their acceptance speeches, but their male co-stars feigned oblivion, giving us the usual fluff.
Throughout the evening, women carried the burden of essentially fighting for themselves, while the men merely basked in their victories when accepting their awards. Alexander Skarsgard nabbed an award for his role as Celeste Wright’s (Nicole Kidman) abusive husband on Big Little Lies, yet he failed to call out men like his character Perry Wright or at least say something along the lines of, ‘we believe women like Celeste.’
Aziz Ansari thanked everyone under the sky during his Best Actor in a TV Series acceptance speech. He even went as far as thanking Italy ‘for all the amazing food’ they ate while shooting Master of None. Between the bleeping and the audience’s intermittent chuckles during his speech, the takeaway here is simply that his views on the Time’s Up initiative were loudly silent.
Best Director award recipient Guillermo del Toro refused to leave the stage after the orchestra started playing music to indicate that his … time is up. This would have been an opportune moment to take advantage of the irony.
What the male actors did well, though, was thanking their directors for allowing them to play the important characters which they portrayed. Sterling K. Brown and James Franco both gave special mention to the men who made their success possible.
Franco was wearing a Time’s Up pin on his tuxedo – a gesture implicit of a modicum of solidarity (sincere or otherwise). However, actresses Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan quickly accused Franco of hypocrisy by taking to Twitter to share their own experiences of how Franco treats women.
Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis and that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17-year-old?
— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 8, 2018
Hey James Franco, nice #timesup pin at the #GoldenGlobes , remember a few weeks ago when you told me the full nudity you had me do in two of your movies for $100/day wasn’t exploitative because I signed a contract to do it? Times up on that!
— Sarah Tither-Kaplan🌈 (@sarahtk) January 8, 2018
Who knows how many other actors clad in black tuxes accessorised with Time’s Up pins have histories of women with similar accusations against them?
One has to ask whether the silence was a defence against being called out on double standards and faux pro-women politics. Or is it just indicative of the majority of men’s inability or unwillingness to hold each other accountable?
Every award-winning woman said ‘Time’s Up’ in one way or another. And all of the men receiving awards merely said ‘thanks’ in 1000 different ways.
Hollywood’s MCM’s undoubtedly failed their colleagues on Sunday night. Here’s hoping they’ll find their voices sometime during this awards season.