Time’s Up: Hollywood Flips the Script

by Kerry Torpey on January 19, 2018

Arts & Entertainment

Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, and America Ferrera wear black in support of the Time’s Up initiative.
Photo courtesy of glamour.com

by Blaine Payer ’18

A&E Staff

The 2018 awards show season started off strong with a Golden Globes that will not soon be forgotten. Arriving in the midst of one of the biggest and most widely publicized scandals in the history of Hollywood, the Golden Globes became a blank canvas on which the Hollywood elite painted “Time’s Up” in big, black letters.

Spearheaded by household names like Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Jennifer Lopez, Meryl Streep, and Oprah Winfrey, the Time’s Up initiative that seemingly began as a silent, color-driven protest quickly began to dominate the night and occupy the center of attention.

“This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment,” Eva Longoria reported to the New York Times before the ceremony. “This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That’s not what this moment is about.” Although some critics were skeptical as to whether or not the “wear black” initiative celebrities would follow through with the protest, Entertainment Tonight’s red carpet coverage quickly silenced the nay sayers as scores of black-clad A-listers emerged from their limos.

Of course, the Time’s Up warriors did more than just wear black at this crucial moment; they brought the fight to the stage. Right off the bat, host Seth Meyers allowed the audience to breathe a sigh of relief after he proclaimed that “It’s 2018, marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn’t. It’s gonna be a good year.”

As was to be expected, many were concerned about how Meyers, a notably innocent late night comedian-turned talk show host, was going to navigate through the tentative climate. Luckily, he chose the right side and produced an onslaught of pro-Time’s Up jokes.

That was just the tip of the iceberg. The real moments of beautiful protest and self-expression came during the acceptance speeches for of Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series, Best Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture made for Television, and of course the presentation of the Cecil B. DeMille Award.

Two-time Golden Globe winner Laura Dern pleaded for the creation of a culture in which victims can speak up without being reprimanded. Later, Academy Award winner Frances McDormand made note of the “tectonic shift in our industry’s power structure,” reminding the audience in attendance and at home that “the women in this room are not here for the food—we are here for the work.” Regardless of how private many of these stars are with their politics, they made an exception that night and took part in history in the making.

The highlight of the night came when Oprah Winfrey delivered her best rendition of the Braveheart speech as she called women to arms to fight back against the patriarchy and remind them that “speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have.” Winfrey, the first black woman to ever receive the Cecil B. DeMille Award, fully embraced the theme of change and empowerment in her speech, prompting the unsurprising outcry for a 2020 presidential campaign for the jack-of-all-trades philanthropist.

“For too long, women have not been heard or believed if they dared to speak their truth to the power of those men,” Winfrey explained, “But their time is up. Their time is up.” With such explicit activism and calls for change, the face and climate of Hollywood is sure to change, ushering in a new era led by female powerhouses of the industry.