Eyes are usually on the Golden Globes red carpet to peep the latest in glam celebrity style. This year, however, the red carpet is expected to make a more somber statement, with some women reportedly planning to wear all black to the event to protest gender inequality and sexual violence in Hollywood. Now, men seem to be planning a show of solidarity by wearing black, too — and not everyone is happy about it. Many are critical of men’s participation, especially given that black suits are all but expected on the red carpet.
The conversation around the statement in solidarity started on Dec. 27 when celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbinati confirmed on Instagram that men will also wear black to the Golden Globes in support of survivors.
“Because everyone keeps asking me... YES, the men WILL be standing in solidarity with women on this wearing-all-black movement to protest against gender inequality at this year’s Golden Globes,” Urbinati wrote on Instagram. “At least ALL MY GUYS will be. Safe to say this may not be the right time to choose to be the odd man out here... just sayin’…”
But, as many social media users have pointed out since the announcement, men often wear black tuxes on the award show red carpet. In fact, it’s standard. Wearing a black suit on the red carpet, then, doesn’t seem like the same radical statement as women wearing black gowns, given the extensive style options women typically choose from for award shows. Entertainment Weekly reported that Dwayne Johnson, whom Urbinati styles, commented on her post confirming that he would wear black.
Wearing a black tux, as this user states, is less less of a deliberate choice and more of a standard style move. And that's where the problem, for many, lies.
Some are calling the "show of solidarity" hypocrisy, stating men have long had the opportunity to show allyship toward women in Hollywood, but did not come through before they were forced by the #MeToo movement.
Many have also critiqued that wearing a black tux allows men to assert their innocence as a perpetrator of harassment or abuse without doing any of the necessary work to reflect on their potential role in the problem.
Others have also called on men to be more vocal in their allyship, while leaving the silent protesting to women. While speaking up about sexual violence often has consequences for women, men can arguably use their privilege to bring attention to the problem with fewer professional repercussions. And that's why they should be wearing sparklers instead of black tuxes, according to this Twitter user.
Though it's debatable whether a skirt would be the best way to show solidarity, this user called for men to make more deliberate fashion choices to stand with women.
Showing how common the "men in black" trope really is, this Twitter user showed a clip from the 2003 Oscars in which an audience flooded with men in black suits cheer for director Roman Polanski's Best Director win for The Pianist. Since 1977, Polanski has been accused of sexual assault and rape by five women, including one woman who came forward during the mass amount of #MeToo allegations.
When all is accounted for, Twitter users don't seem to think this show of solidarity is actually all that noteworthy. In fact, many believe it more serves Hollywood men than the needs of women in the industry.
Only time will tell how many people of all genders wear black on the red carpet. But let's remember to not let our favorite male actors off the hook just because they roll up in a standard black tux. Pay attention to what they do and say off the red carpet, too.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or visit online.rainn.org.