Women in Hollywood almost unanimously came to the 2018 Golden Globes, ready to talk about sexual harassment and gender disparity in the entertainment industry and beyond. Some of their male counterparts, however were noticeably lagging in their support of #TimesUp. Several men at the 2018 Golden Globes didn't voice their support for #TimesUp and it's a bit frustrating that they didn't seem to get the memo.
#TimesUp is inspired by the onslaught of sexual misconduct allegations against leading men in film and television and the #MeToo movement, in which many women came forward in droves to share their experiences with sexual misconduct. Women celebs on and off the Golden Globes stage were speaking up about harassment and abuse. Dressed all in black, many women celebrities spoke about Time's Up, an initiate spearheaded by some 300 women in Hollywood to to end workplace sexual misconduct and to fight for gender parity. And while many of male stars showed their support by adhering to the black dress code, and wearing the Time's Up Pin, few lent their support verbally and publicly.
While the visual effect of (nearly) everyone wearing black, was certainly affective, it's not exactly shocking to see a bunch of men wearing black tuxes to a black tie affair. What would have been more unusual, in a very refreshing way, would be to hear many leading male voices speak up in support of the women in their industry who have been marginalized professionally or who suffered personally. On this point, all but a few failed.
Here's a few examples of guys who could have done better.
1. Ryan Seacrest
Seacrest and his "E! Live from the Red Carpet" co-host Giuliana Rancic certainly did get the memo to ask women about "Times Up" (they made a pledge to not ask "who" you the stars were wearing, but "why black"). But both hosts were pretty awkward when it came to follow-up questions, especially when it came to the activist dates some of the celebrities chose to bring to the award show. Seacrest was also criticized for barely bringing up the subject with male celebrities. Perhaps the worst example of Seacrest falling short came when Neil Patrick Harris attempted to bring up Harvey Weinstein and the host quickly changed the subject to Harris's vacation. Um, what?
2. Alexander Skarsgård
Though Skarsgård did thank the "extraordinarily talented" women who worked on and behind the screen on Big Little Lies (executive producer: Reese Witherspoon) during in his acceptance speech for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role he missed a glaring opportunity. His character in the award-winning limited series commits domestic violence and sexual assault. Just as his co-star Nicole Kidman, who played his wife, used her speech to talk about how she hoped that "the stories we tell" might elicit change when it comes to abuse, Skarsgård could have also added a line about ending violence against women. Also, he referred to the women he worked with at one point as "girls," which is not a great look.
3. Aziz Ansari
He's wearing a "Time's Up" pin, but no talk of sexual harassment in the actor's acceptance speech, even though the subject received a huge plot line in Master of None's second season.
4. Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor does not address sexism in his acceptance speech, but he did thank both his wife and his new girlfriend. Awkward.
5. James Franco
Not only did James Franco hush Tommy Wiseau and deny him a chance to speak, but also the actor and filmmaker offered no comments about gender parity while wearing his "Times Up" pin. He did give a shout out to his mom, thanking her for giving him his number one collaborator: his brother.
6. Gary Oldman
In his lengthy speech (the music starts playing halfway through), the Darkest Hour (producer: Lisa Bruce) actor does mention that the world could "use some changing" but that's pretty vague.
7. Sam Rockwell
Sure, he won for a movie that was about a woman seeking vengeance after her daughter was raped and murdered in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (executive producer: Rose Garnett), but again no mention of ending violence against women.
8. Guillermo del Toro
Best Director-winner del Toro's speech was pretty sweet, but it didn't help that he was following Oprah's powerhouse speech. This year was not the year to both avoid the issue on hand and say, "Since childhood, I’ve been faithful to monsters.” While it's clear he meant fictional, misunderstood creatures, the echo of women like Rose McGowan referring to their alleged abusers as "monsters", and Hollywood's systemic choice to remain faithful to men who were accused of similar crimes, is, well, unfortunate.
9. Ron Howard
Listen, I'm not saying I wouldn't feel awkward as a male director standing on stage next to Natalie Portman as she calls out the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for only nominating male directors, but Howard seemed to laughing a bit too hard at that zing.
While these men might not have said anything against the #MeToo movement or Time's Up, they didn't exactly prove themselves to be allies, either.
"In September of last year, I met a woman at a party. We exchanged numbers. We texted back and forth and eventually went on a date. We went out to dinner, and afterwards we ended up engaging in sexual activity, which by all indications was completely consensual.
The next day, I got a text from her saying that although 'it may have seemed okay,' upon further reflection, she felt uncomfortable. It was true that everything did seem okay to me, so when I heard that it was not the case for her, I was surprised and concerned. I took her words to heart and responded privately after taking the time to process what she had said.
I continue to support the movement that is happening in our culture. It is necessary and long overdue."