#TimesUp – is wearing black the new black?

I have to confess that when I saw the headlines and coverage of the Golden Globes award ceremony this year, I welled up. I thought it was beautiful. A sea of men and women in black, making an incredibly strong statement that sexual harassment and assault in Hollywood and, indeed, in any industry will no longer be tolerated. The intention was to change the conversation and my god did they ever achieve that. Oprah for the win!

However, as ever, the protest was not without some controversy. For starters I think it’s fair to say that Rose McGowan, one of the most vocal victims of the #MeToo outpouring, was less than impressed.

And then there was the bizarrely tone deaf tweet from Ivanka Trump, proudly declaring her support for the #TimesUp movement. All whilst holding a senior official position in the administration of her father, Donald Trump, who has 20 women accusing him of sexual assault or harassment. It’s hard to see how she could be blind to how weird and hypocritical that looks, so who the hell knows what she was trying to achieve there! Seems that the entire Trump family may suffer from the inability to engage brain before opening mouth. Perhaps it’s genetic…

And finally, just to really set the whole thing off, you have Paris Hilton proudly tweeting a picture of herself wearing black in support of #TimesUp, only for Twitter to throw her own words back at her from a few months ago when she said in an interview with Marie Claire that the accusers of Trump were simply seeking fame and attention.

So is Rose McGowan right? Is this simply everyone jumping on the bandwagon of what’s the fashionable cause right now and none of it is more than skin deep? Well, honestly, in some cases she is probably right. You have those for whom this has been a heartfelt issue for years and have spoken about it many times (Oprah and Emma Watson, to name just two) and then there will be those who have probably not given it a moment’s thought previously and, while not necessarily in support of sexual harassment or assault (coz who is?!), may feel deep down that this has not and does not vastly impact upon them. Human beings do have a tendency to be selfish after all.

But to this I say, who cares? Does it really matter? Does it detract from the overall effect if some of the Golden Globes’ attendees were perhaps more focused on finding the most perfect looking black dress, rather than focusing on the message behind it? I don’t think it does. The point is, the overall impact still CHANGED THE CONVERSATION. And it was a conversation that needed to be had.

I read the tabloid headlines on the Golden Globes this year – as I usually end up doing most years (don’t judge me) – and, for the first time, I can’t tell you who was wearing what designer or who did their hair… Because who cared? It was all about Oprah’s amazing speech, and Debra Messing’s red carpet interview with E! where she called them out on their equal pay scandal, and Natalie Portman’s beautiful mic drop moment when reading out the ‘male’ nominations for best director. It was all about the women, and women’s voices, and our collective refusal to take this shit anymore. It was a fucking awesome show of strength.

So whether or not some of the attendees really had their heart and soul in the cause, or were just jumping on the bandwagon, I don’t think it really matters. The most important thing was presenting a collective front, so the message is clear: things have got to change. #TIMESUP


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