How Powerful Will Red Carpet Protests At The 75th Annual Golden Globes Actually Be?

Many actresses, and some actors, have come out in the past few weeks to let us know that they will be wearing all black to the 2018 annual Golden Globes ceremony on Sunday. Far from the usual glitz and colors that we usually see on these carpets, this form of fashion protest is supposed to be a message of solidarity with the victims of sexual harassment in the film industry and other industries as well. Many of those participating have also participated in the #MeToo and #TimesUp hashtags that made waves on social media and with the news media.

But how effective will this form of protest be?

Naturally, there are many critics of this planned protest and they are speaking out that this form of protest is, at best, completing the bare minimum and, at worst, useless and hypocritical. One of the first people who spoke against it was actress Rose McGowan, who tweeted “YOUR SILENCE is the problem,” right after the announcement of this protest was made. She further stated that the actresses participating in the movement will “accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change.” Ouch. She later deleted those tweets.


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More people have gone on to say that it doesn’t make sense for celebrities to wear black because black colors have been a very normal trend on red carpets throughout history. Instead, they could’ve worn other colors not very seen, like nude, or better yet, not even attend at all. Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson got a lot of flak when he confirmed that male celebs would be participating in the protest too. And the critics do have a point. I mean, aren’t you male attendees committed to always wearing black anyways? Where’s the effort?


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But who’s to say that the protest won’t truly gain attention? The 74th annual Golden Globes ceremony telecasted on NBC had a viewership of nearly 20 million last year, it’s second highest audience in a decade. The red carpet, which is an event in itself, will usually have dozens and dozens of media outlets from around the world, photographers, thousands of eyes watching live streams online, and probably three or more top trends on Twitter in the heat of it. And, once the actual ceremony gets under way, I’m sure there are many presenters and nominees who have their own personal messages of solidarity prepared for when they get on stage in front of the millions who’ll be tuning in.


As we’ve seen before at shows such as the Oscars, some of the most iconic and powerful acceptance speeches we’ve seen come from celebrities who chose to attend and use their fame and speech time to raise awareness for issues ranging from gun control, climate change, transgender rights, diversity, and more.

Fashion protest is no doubt a very powerful form of protest. We’ve seen it play out in 2017 where a simple hat or shirt could tell us whether you were a supporter of neo-Nazism, feminism and human rights, or a Black Lives Matter supporter. So, while there are definitely more tenable ways for celebs to show their support, I think we should wait and see how Hollywood’s elite will wear their solace, for the potential for this to be iconic, even historic, is definitely there.

Damon BarnesComment