The Golden Globe awards have historically been an event that forecasts the race to Oscar noms, but they have also been an opportunity to provide a spotlight, pun intended, on what both Hollywood and the world need to do for social change to be enacted. Last year’s Golden Globes mainly highlighted the racial disparity in Hollywood, with “Moonlight”’s win as a demonstration of the potential for diverse voices that deserve to be heard and recognized.
This year’s Golden Globes did not hold back on 2018’s most glaring controversy in “La La Land” — the unearthing of the entertainment industry’s rampant sexual misconduct that has truly only just begun. The entire event was committed to spreading awareness on this issue, commencing on the red carpet with celebrities wearing black to stand in solidarity with those who have come forward with their stories of being sexually assaulted or harassed in Hollywood. The hashtag and slogan #TimesUp was flaunted on pins and spoken in speeches. Host Seth Meyers got right to it in his opening line when he said, “It’s 2018, marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t!” His entire monologue was littered with jokes that were laugh-out-loud but simultaneously tragic and true about the misbehavior of powerful men in the industry, and he made sure to not leave out Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey on the chopping block. He balanced the harsh reality of the matter with humor and did it elegantly, a reminder of comedy’s ability to divulge a greater truth that requires active change.
As for the winners: In theme of the industry’s sexual misconduct, Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) won for his performance in the drama despite allegations of beating his ex-wife with a telephone. Aziz Ansari (“Parks and Recreation”), who won for his performance in “Master of None,” and James Franco (“The Deuce”), whose performance was rivalled by Daniel Kaluuya in “Get Out,” are both now being accused of sexual coercion and harassment after their wins.
Luckily, big wins came out for the HBO miniseries “Big Little Lies,” a show produced by Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon’s production company designed to give females a larger voice in the industry, and the show itself deals with the issue of abuse, bringing it to the forefront of the American popular viewership. With Kidman’s win for her performance, Alexander Skarsgård for his, Laura Dern for her supporting role and the show itself for best limited series, hopefully more people will be exposed to the true tolls and effects of abuse. Though as much as powerful women in the industry try to lower the gap of sexism, it is still there. Ironically, Saoirse Ronan won for her performance in “Lady Bird,” and the picture itself won for best comedy, but director Greta Gerwig failed to get a nomination, despite the actor and the film she directed winning.
There is undoubtedly a push for positive change and awareness of the industry’s unignorable issue, but with time, it is inevitable that more stories will come out, more faults and more wrongdoings. More apologies. The Golden Globes was an inspiring and honest reminder that this problem cannot be neglected any longer. But in a society like this, where men are still the only people getting nominated for best directors, and women have to constantly fear walking on set, we have to wonder — when the glamorous, artificial veneer of unity in the industry is stripped away, and when the black gowns are put back in designer’s showrooms — when will this issue stop occurring when the cameras are off?