TIME’S UP: A Movement Is Born

Another year, another season of awards show. All your favorite films, TV shows, and songs are nominated for the coveted trophy as eyes from across the nation tune in to watch the star-studded celebrities step out onto the red carpet to flaunt their designer dresses and suits for the cameras to photograph.

Today’s Oscar celebration has brought attention to, among other politically and socially hot topics, the scandalous year of reveals and accusations that have shed light on the reality of blatant sexual assault and discrimination in the entertainment industry.    However, it was the Golden Globes that kicked off 2o18 with a live show more politically charged than any other.  Celebrities not only celebrated big wins, but also advocated for the end of sexual harassment, gender inequality, and assault in the entertainment industry. With a platform that influences so many, celebrities used this event to their advantage to speak more about the #MeToo movement and the Times Up initiative. To drive it home, both men and women wore black ensembles or a Times Up pin in support of the movement. Why black? Well, the Times Up organization requested celebrities to dress in all black to make the point of solidarity on the issue. Even after the Golden Globes, the organization in partnership with Conde Nast, initiated celebrities to auction off their designer dresses from the red carpet in order to raise money “on behalf of the Times Up Legal Defense Fund.” Celebrities such as Emma Watson, Viola Davis, and Reese Witherspoon auctioned off their Ronald Van Den Kemp, Brandon Maxwell, and Zac Posen dresses. It was a blackout statement regarding the amount of work needs to be done in order to end sexual harassment for good.

There has been more news of sexual assault and harassment against men both within and outside of the entertainment industry this year. This issue lies way beyond the scope of the glamorous life of celebrities; it expands to the real-world. The magnitude of gender inequality is prevalent across the globe, and if people are inspired when watching big names appear on the TV screen, it is surely a step forward.

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The TIMES UP pin worn by many celebrities on the red carpet along with their full black suits and dresses. Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImager a caption

Before the Golden Globes aired on every TV screen, a letter from Time’s Up first started to appear all over social media by many of our favorite celebrities, both men and women. This letter called for the importance of speaking out on how “the clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.” Publicatioins have spoken specifically about the harassment in the entertainment industry as more women, such as actresses Rose McGowan and Ashley Judd, have come forward with sexual accusations against Harvey Weinstein, a well-known producer in Hollywood.

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The letter addressing the solidarity among women on behalf of the entertainment industry. Credit: Times Up Initiative

Some even took the Golden Globe stage to highlight the importance to not only stand up against harassment but as well as the issue of pay inequality between the genders. An infamous incident that shocked social media news was the drastic payment difference for a refilming of an upcoming movie, All the Money in the World, starring Mark Wahlberg and Michelle Williams. During the reshoot, Williams made money that totaled less than $1000 while Wahlberg collected an additional $1.5 million for the reshoots of the film (ironically necessary after defamed and accused sexual predator Kevin Spacey was axed from the film following his own scandals.)  Williams essentially took home less than one percent of the amount Wahlberg made.  He has since donated that surplus to the cause.  Whether the result of personal beliefs or under public scrutiny when the reality of the situation was made public, we can never know.  Regardless, if this doesn’t provide sufficient evidence of gender inequality, I’m not sure what does.

More recently, a now annual march, the Women’s March, took place all around the world to reinforce the significance of the sexual harassment on January 20. Through Sister Marches, another organization for solidarity events, an estimated 5 million men and women walked the streets with their angry posters to peacefully protest their dissatisfaction with this ongoing situation. It is truly an insurmountable period of the 21st century to hopefully put an end to mistreatment towards women. With so many brave women coming forward with very personal experiences speaks volumes about the severity of the problem. We are at a turning point in this global society, and it is now that we start to actually make a change in the way men and women treat each other.

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A digital protest poster for annual Women’s March Credit: Amplifier

Needless to say, the fight towards gender equality increases day by day.  It is only the beginning of a new year, but it can perhaps be the end of sexual harassment, inequity, and assault for women.   

Author: Kristen Chan

Kristen Chan is a first time reporter for the SAS Eye! This is her sixth year at SAS and is now a senior. She was born and raised California but moved to Singapore when she was twelve. In her free time she is either golfing or dancing. Otherwise she is happily in her bed watching Netflix because of “cancelled” plans, watching dog videos while constantly asking her dad about how much she wants one, and spending time with her family. She can be contacted at chan44374@sas.edu.sg.

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