The ‘black gown’ Golden Globes ‘inspired’ noone but the empty headed stars in them

“We are not asking who are you wearing. We are asking why.” This was the persistent brag of the E! channel throughout its red carpet coverage of last night’s Golden Globe awards. There would be, damnit, none of the usual E! on-air review of designers, price-tags or apparel Dos and Don’ts. Bo-ring. Every year, I watch this particular show only to despise the rich and celebrated, just as any sane person should. After all, a hatred of the ruling class is love of one’s own class. But this year, all those rich, celebrated pricks had agreed to wear black garments to falsely reveal their “solidarity” with the likes of me. I was not convinced by this Hollywood quick-change at all.

Still. Plenty of other cheerful persons were. The US publication Vox, otherwise notable for its meticulous makeover last year of war hawk Hillary Clinton into progressive peace kitten, gave us one of those Something That Doesn’t Matter and Why It Matters articles that fuel the shit part of the internet. Think wearing black dresses to the Golden Globes is just a gimmick? Think again! Etc. etc.

Apparently “the conversation” about women—yes, this entire fanfarade is about women, as most things in the liberal West seem to be these days—is “impactful”. Leaving aside that “impactful” is a crime of written English that should be punishable by mandatory hand-laundering of Harvey Weinstein’s plushest bathrobe, what the actual poop? The author of this article asserts no more than “it matters because it matters”. I have better things to do with my internet time than hate vapid question-begging. Such as, for example, hating people in pretty dresses described to me hatefully by hosts of the E! network; a cheap annual luxury cruelly denied.

Spare us all from the delusional, white liberal feminist who takes a woman of colour to the red carpet as though she were a Swarovski clutch.

I’m sure the absence hurt the broadcasters more, though. Of all the costs to “solidarity” ever made in the history of struggle, this one by E! must have been the most painful. Talk about the self-sacrifice of the worker comrade. Not even Trotsky in his exile would have known the agony of a TV network long devoted to fashion snark that had agreed not to ask Reese Witherspoon, or any other lady, about her look. They have done it forever.

Yet. It would have been a critical failure of “solidarity” to ask Witherspoon of her custom-made Zac Posen gown. Or of her role as the “storyteller-in-chief” for Elizabeth Arden, whose cosmetics were applied to her lovely face last night by her preferred artiste. Or of her Jimmy Choo heels or Bulgari diamonds etc.

E!, the same network who had, until last November, brought us Fashion Police—hilariously malevolent when hosted by the late Joan Rivers; just plain malevolent after the great comic’s death—was not permitted to judge the value of jewels, the misery of stilettoes and the intimacies between designer and diva. All the usual E! spite for the powerful and their costumes was hidden, and I didn’t like it one bit.

I was forced to find out on my own what the leaders of this “solidarity” movement of women had chosen to wear to an awards ceremony described, apparently without sarcasm, as a “powerful moment” by the Sydney Morning Herald. I found out that Nicole wore Givenchy, Lizzie wore Dior and that Dame Helen chose Harry Winston diamonds. Were these conflict diamonds, mined by slaves? They usually are. Why don’t you talk to me, Helen Mirren, and tell me all about it.

If Laura Dern had invited me to the Globes as a radical accessory, I would have accepted without hesitation and then stolen her gift bag.

She couldn’t. No one could. The only luxury brand that could be broadly named was Marchesa, notable only for its absence at the Globes. A nonattendance that will—if you’ll stay with me here—help explain why all those women wearing fancy things refused to talk about them. For the sake of “solidarity”.

Once, Marchesa was regularly donned at such events. In September last year, Vogue praised the brand for its “fairytale-like creations” and did not wonder that its magical frocks were so favoured by the “red-carpet crowd”. In October of last year, allegations were printed that movie producer Harvey Weinstein had treated several women of the entertainment industry as though they were swill and he a rich, libidinal hog afflicted with narcissistic appetite of a type heretofore unseen in either psychiatric medicine or animal husbandry. (I’m paraphrasing, here.)

As it turns out, Weinstein is wed to Georgina Chapman. Chapman has filed for divorce since October’s allegations in the New York Times but remains a designer at Marchesa. Marchesa will stay taboo, I guess, until the Weinstein-Chapmans finish dividing their assets. In the meantime, Meryl Streep spoke of the non-Marchesa, all-black gowns worn by her worker-comrades as, “a thick black line dividing then from now.”

Anyhoo. As you may recall, those Weinstein allegations inspired the “me too” “movement”. Can’t remember? Well, late last year, a load of celebrities publicly talked about indignities they had faced at work ranging from lewd comments to sexual assault. Many non-famous women used social media to do the same. Everyone forgot that similar widespread moments beloved by media and entertainment personnel, such as “Yes All Women” and “Men Call Me Things”, had failed to produce much but rage. There was no thick black line dividing then from now. This was due, in large part, to the reluctance of justifiably angry victims of workplace abuse to organise as workers.

A labour organisation, however, politely reminded the women of Hollywood that organising as workers might be a nifty idea. US farmworkers of the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas wrote to the “me too” superstars that although they did “not work under bright stage lights or on the big screen” they, too, experienced harassment and violence at work.

As 70,000 workers had signed the letter, it became impossible for the women of the entertainment and media sectors to continue examining only their own plight. So, the “Time’s Up” initiative was upchucked in time for the Globes. You can read the jejune manifesto, recommending a black dress code, in the New York Times. Frankly, the correspondence from the farmworkers is a far better read.

There is no more room for compassion in profit than there is for basic economic logic in Meryl Streep’s head.

I mean, seriously. The Time’s Up letter evinces the sort of obliviousness generally blown out of the arse of the undergraduate by second year. “Too many centres of power,” it says, “Lack gender parity”. The letter then goes on to thank the women of the Alianza for their “solidarity” without once acknowledging that it is not, so much, the absence of women in centres of power but the fact that power is itself so centralised that humiliation, harassment and abuse are permitted to routinely occur.

I can’t even be bothered arguing to an adult audience against the moral superiority of women these days. A person in unstable, low-paid employment, such as a farmworker, is not going to have a better time of it if the agricultural conglomerate that owns most of their working life puts a woman on the board. There is no more room for compassion in profit than there is for basic economic logic in Meryl Streep’s head.

Is there any person more devout in her own nobility than Meryl Streep? Sure, she might have uttered the words “A dingo took my baby” with one of Hollywood’s least awful Australian accents, but the woman is a deluded shit. Or, possibly, a bit of a dummy. Hardly as “woke” as an adoring press believes her to be.

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Perhaps it is forgotten that as jury president of the Berlin Film Festival, Streep answered a press question about the under-representation of people of colour in film with, “There is a core of humanity that travels right through every culture, and after all we’re all from Africa originally. Berliners, we’re all Africans really.” This is Streep-speak for, “I, Meryl, am a universalising force of art who can represent all the people of my colonies.”

And. No. This wasn’t in 1972 or something when we could say, “oh. Everyone was a blithe racist back then.” It was two fucking years ago, and occurred just as public debate about the marginalisation of people of colour in mainstream cinema was at its peak. Apparently, “the core of humanity” that can explain to Meryl the overwhelming exclusion of people of colour from employment sectors that are not Uber does not adequately explain sexism. Which is why she wore a backless frock, or a “thick black line dividing then from now.”

Effing spare me. Spare us all from the delusional white liberal feminist who takes a woman of colour to the red carpet as though she were a Swarovski clutch. I am certain that some of the white actors who took along activists “dates” to the Globes meant very well. This does not mean that these twits think very well, or even adequately.

The best protection against abuse at work is not a crap speech by Oprah about inspiration, but actual organisation.

By no means, of course, should we question the motivation of the activist “dates” present on the red carpet. If Laura Dern had invited me to the Globes as a radical accessory, I would have accepted without hesitation and then stolen her gift bag after screeching on live TV, “let the neck of the last Hollywood taxation lawyer be wrung by the guts of the last movie mogul” or similar. I hope that the idea of true solidarity, which is what we find in unions that represent their members, gets at least one tenth boost that Laura’s career will. I hold out no hope at all, of course, that persons in the entertainment and media industry will get it through their heads that the best protection against abuse at work is not a crap speech by Oprah about inspiration, but actual organisation.

Probably on my own, here. I am sure that there are many delighted that a few really famous white woman actors got an “activist” date to bolster their own brand. I am certain that there are many who think that the Globes herald the “most politically charged awards season in history”. Certainly, this is the opinion of Vanity Fair, a publication with no memory that the Vietnam War or the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr or the surveillance state perfected by President Obama were all fairly “charged” issues played out in previous Awards.

I am certain that there are those who will continue to look to Hollywood as the site for struggle against centres of power, rather than power’s shameful propagandist that makes the American case, “You can change the world if only you believe!”

You can change the world only if you believe that a black gown is not quite so effective as a solidarity between workers that does not advocate for more women “in boardrooms”, per Time’s Up. And if you believe that Nicole Kidman’s acceptance speech—which concluded with “Wow. The power of women”—is as likely to shake things up as Meryl Streep’s next film depicting another fucking powerful woman.

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103 responses to “The ‘black gown’ Golden Globes ‘inspired’ noone but the empty headed stars in them

  1. Haha you’re so irreverent Helen big love for your writing
    fuck, you seem to have offended the ‘sisterhood’ !!!!
    hahaha

    1. Not difficult to upset a liberal feminist, K. All you have to do is say, “I don’t think accumulating massive wealth , which can only be done through the exploitation of people and/or the Earth, is good, even if it is done by a woman.”
      At this point, their brains blow a fuse and they say, “Look. It’s just important that we have just as many oppressed and oppressing women as we do oppressed and oppressing men.”
      Oppression isn’t the problem for the liberal feminist. Their only real problem is that they feel that women like them should be permitted to shine, shine, shine.

  2. Well off Americans are selfish.
    That they deign to feign concern about anything but being selfish is a good thing. Exercise of the inner heart is good for everyone. Even if it’s plastic. It’s a tiny spark of the real thing.

  3. Great Article. Really got me thinking.
    I’ve had an uncomfortable feeling about the whole Oprah/Golden Globes bandwagon.
    Not that I am not totally inspired by the speeches and brave whistle blowing and the ‘outing’ of sleazy dickheads.
    I love that shit. And I think Tracy Spicer rocks.
    But it’s good to be open to critical thought. In all it’s forms.
    Thanks for daring to speak your mind Helen.

  4. Isn’t everyone missing the point? Controversy sells, and as Trump showed us, the lower the gutter, the better. Everyone will be watching the Golden Globes next year to see the latest “it” issue. Its the new revenue stream of the entertainment industry – outrage. It comes with a new look for every season. Golden Globes nailed it. The Miss Universe pageant tried an angle with the wrong winner idea in 2016, but that flopped. Controversy lights up the social media chat lines. I only read the article b/c its Helen Razer. Isn’t everyone sick of all the divisions and animosity? Its been pretty relentless for a few years now.

  5. The refreshing and exciting aspect for me is that Helen Razer has a view – a position. She isn’t a subscriber or trying to prompt echoes of approval. She is alive and behind the hand grenades is an impressive intellect. Great reading. The tennis match on the thread says it all!

  6. Boom! This article is bang on. I will admit that as soon as I saw that Oprah had given a speech at the Golden Globes about Weinstein etc my first thought was, I wanna hear Razer’s take on it.
    This whole hollywood getting “woke” moment is a load of bullshit designed to sell more films.

  7. Frankly, there’s more stale idiocy here in the comments than I can be arsed addressing. It is curious to me that in an internet FULL of praise for the “brave” women of Hollywood, you’d take offence at one of the very few articles that doesn’t celebrate it. Do yourselves a favour and have a mutual love-bath over at Fairfax, even News Corp. Hey, even Ivanka Trump agrees that this was a Momentous Event.
    I mean, seriously. People are wetting themselves over this stuff and even before articles that are critical began to appear, other articles, like the one in Vox, started arguing against them in advice. So, why do you feel the need to disagree with one of the few voices of dissent? Most everyone is on your happy-clappy side, so be delighted you won the war, okay? The entire West believes that “positivity is very important” and that critique is unwanted. So, just go be an uncritical liberal who believes in the power of compassionate glamour in the many places you can.
    To those who appreciated this different perspective, many thanks. And many thanks to Ray, too, the editor of Daily Review who permits me to write from a perspective he knows will often be unpopular. It is a bold choice for a little company like Daily Review. We would do better to just echo mainstream sentiment and get loads of shares from twit liberals who say “Wow. So true and relatable” in their Facebook feeds. Instead, we try to provide analysis of the culture and the arts from under-represented perspectives. Because we feel strongly that stronger criticism of culture and the arts inspires stronger culture and stronger arts.
    If you appreciated this or other articles from Daily Review, please consider giving us a few bucks to continue our work. You can do that securely here https://dailyreview.com.au/support/ I propose (but do not know) that payment to an arts publication *may* be a deduction for those who work in arts, entertainment and media sectors. Ask the ATO!
    Oh. Finally. To all the folks (who seem, rather curiously, to have lady names) calling me “bitter”. That’s funny. It really is. Could you maybe pretend that I am a bloke and see if you would apply that criticism to me? Oh, and the “you’re just jealous” one, too. After years of writing and broadcasting and talking to other ladies and chaps in these sectors, I can tell you, golly gee, these are common critiques of women. Strangely, not of men. “You are bitter” and “you are jealous” are closely followed by “You don’t get enough sex”, “you are mad” or, my favourite, “If you had children, you’d be kinder”. Anyhoo. FWIW. If you are gonna go about the internet pretending to be some impeccable feminist, maybe cool it with the sexist criticism.

    1. There aren’t a “few voices of dissent”. Look around the web and you will find a concerted campaign to demonise Me Too and the women at the Grammys. Whilst there are the usual misogynist males, I suspect some are paid.

      1. There’s a laughably huge difference between the sexists who think Weinstein didn’t do anything wrong, and Razer’s critique. You won’t find Weinstein defenders following their “concerted campaign” with a call to join your union. Why join your union? Why, to work collectively to dismantle the (economic) structures that ensure women’s disempowerment.

  8. Tweet from @marcjacobs on the night.

    “We wear black to join with the voices of ALL women, particularly women of color, LGBTQX women, disabled women and all other women who have been disproportionately affected by sexual violence.” —@TraceeEllisRoss wears #MJSS18 to the 2018 #GoldenGlobes #TimesUpNow #WhyWeWearBlack

    1. We will unite together as workers and seize the state. Wearing Badgley Mischka’s signature glamorous style, supported by Westpac.

  9. Some thought provoking stuff that tends to be undermined by shockingly misinformed throwaway comments like the one about all diamonds worn by film stars are usually conflict diamonds mined by slaves. You just have to read the Time article at the link given to realise why this is wrong. The article says the Kimberley Process has been relatively effective in clamping down on trade in conflict diamonds but there are still some loopholes. Faced with this a lot of the top end jewellery companies are working on additional measures to get confidence that the supply chain doesnt start in places with bad human rights or environmental records (so that well heeled clients like film stars can sleep more easily at night). Not only is it not particularly likely that movie stars are wearing conflict diamonds, but they are also able and probably likely to take steps to avoid this, eg by buying Canadian or Botswanan diamonds.

    A key criticism of the Kimberley Process have been that diamonds from Zimbabwe, where the diamonds are mined by military linked organisations and fund or contribute to human rights abuses, do not fall under the definition of conflict diamonds. The resistance to changing this has not come from the major Western capitalist countries but from Russia and China, who have been supportive of Mugabe and his cronies.

    So one can only wonder about the mindset of someone who doesn’t want to let the facts get in a way of good story where every capitalist is a cigar munching evil genius in a top hat manipulating bourgeois governments to do his bidding.

    1. This article states as do others that cleaning the supply chain is basically impossible.
      And, no true socialist believes that capitalists are evil. Anymore than they believe themselves to be good. The point is, a system that extracts surplus from the bodies and minds of others is bound to produce a lack of virtue. It is a system that is bad. Not people.
      Still. Enjoy visiting the internet today and finding socialists you disagree with and telling them that compassionate capitalism is somehow possible.

      1. Who made the system in Hollywood or any industry? Who set up the old boys club system, maintains it liberally oiled, and loves the power. It’s not your nice capitalists. It’s the Ayn Rand loving, bully boys who think sexual harassment is their god given right as masters of the universe.

        Who pays the media to whitewash them?

  10. Very true and as my grandfather said – your worst enemy was your fellow worker. Stick together as solidarity is the only thing that makes you strong and the only gains we have ever made are when unions have fought for those principles.

    1. Yes, sometimes point scoring is enormously counterproductive.

      Perhaps Ms Razor had a career without harassment and abuse. Lucky woman.

      1. You really ought to get knotted.
        I could tell you about the extreme and predatory harassment I have copped. Actually, it changed my working life for good and left me with fear I am yet to resolve. But, you know. I don’t think it’s the job of people in media only to talk about people in media. I think to talk about the widespread and commonplace violence workers face is the important thing. Not me, me, me and fucking me and my posh industry.
        How dare you.

    2. Oh. Right. It;s my fault there’s no unity between women. I thought it was the structures that uphold class and race. But, all the time, it was me and my feminist perspective.
      Silly, Helen. She always forgets that feminism is about agreeing with all other women. Even if they’re fucking wrong as shit. That’s a healthy route to progress.

    3. Maybe there is a good article to be written, holding the me-too, black-gown movement up for scrutiny.
      This wasn’t it.
      Or, at least, the third of it that I skimmed/could be arsed reading wasn’t.

  11. Lame. I used to really like Helen Razer, and thought she was a talented, intelligent, insightful writer. Not any more. It seems that Helen has become infected with the prevailing trend of online bullying. How completely outrageous, that some rich ladies experienced sexual harassment and assault, and chose to complain about it! Surely that is the sole province of poor and un-famous females! We all have moments where we feel jealous of others, but usually people just rant in private whilst sculling down a drink or several, and the moment ends. Over it. Have a good hard look at yourself.

    1. Online bullying? FFS.
      This is a criticism of a cultural event held 12000 kms from me whose participants will remain unaware of it.
      Oh. Hey. I am a disabled person. On behalf of my comrades, I ask that you refrain from using “lame” as an insult, It’s online bullying, don’t you know.
      Please read something. Please. For god’s sake. Get a clue.

  12. Unfortunately your bitterness flows too freely to make me wonder if you are jealous of these celebrities or just in head-kicking mode. I concur that the black dresses are unlikely to propel change to workplace behaviours or even get the majority of CEOs of companies to implement positive training and cultural change within their organisations. The soundbites i heard seemed to be nothing but show biz self-congratulation in full flight. However I do hope that there will be a further level of action taken by all producers given they are ultimately the people who make the environment for theatre, film and television. Personally, I’d rather see Jennifer Lawrence cease and desist from her inane comments saying how brilliant David O. Russell, a renown bully to women on set, is. It’s the directors like he and James Cameron, Quentin Tarantino – the man who denied he knew what Harvey was like and then said he ought have done something – who need to be held to account. They are all terrific directors in their own genres, however how can anyone actually justify working with these creeps (I’m still waiting to hear from Uma Thurman on this)? If these women are truly wanting change, then start an organisation that is interested in representing women. By the way, Helen: your view of unions is not based in fact. Back in the mid 1980’s I told the ACTU training centre exactly this – I was there as one of two women out of thirty participants – and was laughed at by all bar the most senior facilitator of the week long industrial officer course. Sally McManus is showing a new lead, however the culture of unions is still weighed mightily against wage parity for women.

    1. We should give up on organised labour, then, and just trust the powerful to liberate us.
      Good-o. I don’t know why I didn’t realise this earlier.

  13. Thank You ,Thank You ,drowning in insincerity out here.A little perspective with ice please.Nothing goes with post awards part champagne like a little self loathing.
    “In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”The narrative of this stupidity is its only one sex who has behaved badly,so wrong.If they do this in the movies what will happen when they get to the music business.

  14. Join your union and tell them what you want them to fight for, MEAA member since 1991.
    In defence of Streepy, in the ninties she did tell us to wash our fruit because pesticides are harmful. Bless her.

  15. lets not forget that these people are just fucking actors. Not intellectuals, authors, philosophers, original thinkers, even possessing of any influence that can result in any good. This was as usual a festival of platitudes spouted by rich people who think having lots of money and adulation makes them smarter. As pointed out in one of the comments above, where were they in the past. Are there any other causes they could turn their attention to and maybe wear something that will make any difference to said cause. Actors, ladies and germs, just actors.

    1. Unlike most intellectuals, philosophers and original thinkers, successful actresses can possess considerable influence just because they are known faces that the public admires. However misogynist males, threatened by women who stand for the protection of workers from harassment and abuse, will seek to vilify them.

      Yes they are actors; most of whom started as ordinary working class women; and 2 seconds of research also showed that many do have political interests and are socially aware. Meryl Streep for instance. https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/meryl-streep

    2. You may say this. However, a wealth of press would not agree. Currently, publications such as the Washington Post are seriously discussing the political impact of the event and are writing, without sarcasm, of the possibility of Oprah as the next US President.
      You can say it doesn’t matter. And, yes, I agree, it doesn’t. But there is a widespread belief that it does. And if we consider that the current US President is a former reality TV star, perhaps we can see that critique of political movements that begin in entertainment need to be monitored closely.

      1. Don’t forget Reagan.

        Yes there is a danger that Oprah may try to use Me Too to leapfrog into the presidency. However that would immediately antagonise half the male voters and all the feminist fearing republicans, male and female.

        Then there is the question of what kind of president would she make.

        1. Not that much likelihood the me-too movement will have legs by 2020 when the election for president is held.
          These movements have a short life and, agreeing with Razer here, don’t achieve much on their own. It will fizzle out.
          Oprah will need something else to catapult her to the white house, if that’s her aim as 2020 draws near.

    3. Totes agree. These so-called actors are deluded with their own grandiose self-importance that only exists in their own minds.

  16. Agreed Helen, it would have been more of a statement if the dress code was no makeup and no Botox for 12 months, let the real woman loose.

    1. totally concur although i don’t know that i’d be up for a public broadcast without a spot of my favourite lipstick! seriously though, it was just the Grammys. nothing more, nothing less. speeches were trite.
      i found it interesting that the two women attending who didn’t look as though the earth had suddenly been discovered as ’round’ and not ‘flat’ during the speeches were: Angelina Jolie who looked like a serious person who was incredulous at all the “yeehah” cries of delight and Frances McDormand who appeared to be sans makeup – or else wearing little of it – and again, didn’t appear overwhelmed by her own publicity.

  17. Does it have to be interpreted as a delusional white liberal feminist taking a woman of colour to the red carpet as though she were a Swavorovski clutch?

    The Alianza Nacional de Campesinas (from their website) are a group of 700 000 female farm workers who have organised and advocate on a range of issues including basic employment rights, healthcare, education, housing and immigration as well as domestic violence and sexual harassment. They are organised and appear to have the agenda to challenge centralised power. Having Monica Ramirez, for example, appear on the Golden Globes red carpet alongside even someone as vapid as Meryl Streep could just as easily be seen as an astute strategy to gain a wider platform by the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas.

    It seems that they initiated the contact with “Hollywood”and you can’t challenge power without playing some power games of your own.

    1. I mentioned this in the piece. I think the organisation is sensible to attempt to gain new membership. I say it was a rational choice.
      This does not preclude criticism of the idiot women who published a letter in the New York Times saying that they believe in equality everywhere, including big business and boardrooms. How you can advocate for big agribusiness and support the alliance is beyond me. The alliance knows its politics and good on the for playing the game. The celebrities can bite me.

      1. I’d still like to know what a “Swavorovski clutch” is.

        Is that a euphemism for “grabbing them by the p***y?”

        1. There’s this thing. They call it “Google”, I believe. But, you know. Don’t let it get in the way of making a schoolboy joke.
          FFS.

      2. I understand the self-interest and gross inconsistency in the drivel that the average celebrity spouts, but the sad fact is that many people respond to their brand of bullshit. Harnessing the idiocy of the Meryl and co. extends beyond a sensible attempt by the alliance to gain new membership and provides an opportunity for the mainstream to engage with the position of poor female farmworkers.

        You mention the issue I raised only very peripherally (and that’s a generous interpretation) and I can’t see the words “rational choice” anywhere in your article. Of course nothing you say precludes criticism of the idiot women that published the “Time’s Up” letter, but if that critique is primarily limited to deriding their hypocrisy, with a few statements proclaiming the limits of “belief” as a challenge to power while extolling the virtues of solidarity then “celebrities can bite me” is probably a good place to leave it.

  18. Like it, – if it looks and sounds like a duck but says it’s a black women’s Liberation, Festival, it is still a duck, probably just a sick duck

  19. Shame on you, Helen! Here we are in the midst of a calling out of inappropriate behaviour etc and one of our own is happy to call ALL the stars who wore black and perform on screen and stage ’empty=headed’. Since that term is universally applied to women the implication was obvious. If that isn’t a sexist put down I don’t know what is. It takes a combination of refined intuition and intelligent understanding of the roles they play, often reflecting societal behaviour and attitudes, to make it in live theatre or screen. Through the scriptwriters whose words they breathe life into they have been exposed to a range of human experiences they interpret with great effect and sensitivity if the script and they are good enough. As to whether the gesture will have a lasting effect – probably not; nor did the great rhetoric of Obama after the Sandy Hook massacre, but that doesn’t mean they should shut up or wear sack cloth and ashes to represent the working class. It got the attention they sought ; it made sexual harassment and bullying in the industry front page news. Now the momentum needs to be kept going by all the factory workers who’ve experienced the same conduct; the journalists who’ve been abused, the female politicians who’ve been sidelined or vilified. Why don’t you beat the drum for cultural change?

    1. Beautifully said. At its core, the Globes demonstration was to effect change. Regardless of anything, it was a show of solidarity, and I do resent how this writer lumps all of them into one ugly coven. By Razer’s logic, every last one of them is an asshole just for showing up.

  20. Thanks Helen – a very refreshing read amidst most of the dross written recently on this subject. Just when I thought I may implode with frustration and not a little anger, Daily Review appears in my inbox to alert me to the fact that I’m not entirely alone in thinking ‘what the actual poop’ is going on here?

    More please!

    Jay

  21. This article is so deliciously perfect thank you so much Helen for once again being one of the few (only?) mainstream writers with any sense. This black dress ‘protest’ is quite nausea inducing. The whole spectacle was just a self-indulgent circle jerk of women gravely celebrating the doing of not very much. The great irony is that half those black-gowned women probably owe some of their success to the casting couch. Also almost satirical that Meryl Streep now feels so deeply about the cause, but was somehow only person in Hollywood with no knowledge of Weinstein’s behaviour.

    1. Wow you go straight to the old phrase” casting couch”. Of course as a woman you have to sleep with a man to get a job there’s no way you could get the job on your own merits. Shame on you. Your patronising comment is exactly the reason why so many women are fed up with being treated like an object rather than as a human being. You are part of the problem.

      1. You’re denying the existence of the “casting couch”?!
        It’s people like you who shut down open discussion – if you’re so easily offended – get off-line! More PC bollocks!

        1. Of course people will do what they can to find work. I don’t really have a problem with the fact that an actor might boff someone for the promise of work. No biggie. I do have a problem with power itself.
          Anyhoo. The wonderful Yvette Carnell references the casting couch in her latest Breaking Brown dispatch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilDnpCiMKyE
          It’s a real thing.

  22. Thank you Helen for an intelligent article. If the entertainment industry workers use the impetus of the current publicity to organise themselves so that they can, together, determine what work practices they will cop and what they wont and take united action when lines are crossed things might change. Otherwise, this will fade and will all happen again in due course. Let’s hope the black dresses thing is a start, or part thereof.

  23. Thanks Helen. I am extremely sceptical about the owning class trying to mobilise about any issue. Your analysis that working together as a Union is the best way for sustainable change of wage and sexual injustices. As referenced by another in this thread the Black Lives Matter movement and the letter from the Farmworkers Union to actresses are way more powerful.

  24. The black line? More like a sea of turds that a piece of gold leaf kind of accidentally-on-purpose fell into. Why are we even bothering to fish it out? Because it’s NOOOZ and being shoved in front of our faces so we at least have to try to bat it out of the way so we can breathe.

  25. Awwwwww Helen, it will make a difference now a line has been drawn on the red carpet. Things will change, really they it will?

    Has Koni been captured yet?

    Good analysis, thank you Helen.

  26. Hmm! Who really was solid – by wearing the sleek off the shoulder by TARGET ? does solidarity mean they are all thick?

  27. Helen, I love your outspoken, uncensored opinions, honest and well thought out, I agree with everything in this article, thank you for this honest discourse on class, wealth and privilege, Ani

  28. “Despise the rich and celebrated” except that not all the women on stage were rich and celebrated or white. And even rich and celebrated women are not immune from harassment and abuse. Just see what happened to Salma Hayek below.

    As a way to keep the harassment and abuse of women in the workplace to the fore of the public’s, government’s and CEO’s attention, the women at the Golden Globes made an excellent move. Why not? Are the rest of us women going to exempt them from protesting because they don’t dress like Emily Pankhurst.

    Of course there needs to be more done particularly by and within unions and government. And of course it’s going to take some time to change the culture of misogyny. But let’s accept every step as it comes.

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/13/opinion/contributors/salma-hayek-harvey-weinstein.html

    1. It’s Emmeline Pankhurst. She dressed in fine clothes. She was also an imperialist pig, and not my sort of feminist at all.
      And good luck with that gradualism.

      1. They are ahead of you and already extending their movement to all women workers. https://theconversation.com/why-its-so-important-that-hollywoods-powerful-women-are-standing-up-for-all-female-workers-89661

        Considering the concerted campaign by men to demonise Me Too, don’t you think that this movement is worth supporting.

        And on the Pankhursts, you might be interested in what Sylvia had to say about oil wars, particularly Shell. It’s completely off topic but fascinating in today’s context. Pankhurst is succinct, direct and brilliant. https://www.marxists.org/archive/pankhurst-sylvia/1922/oil-war.htm

  29. Great Helen. You’ve done it again. How many of these STRONG women standing up for this important cause knew about the problems years again but kept quiet? Now they come out when a warm & fuzzy publicity opportunity comes up.

  30. Hahahah! Brilliant, Helen. Spot on, as usual. The hero of the dish was really hard to call, but let’s go with ‘…I would have accepted without hesitation and then stolen her gift bag after screeching on live TV, “let the neck of the last Hollywood taxation lawyer be wrung by the guts of the last movie mogul” or similar.’

  31. > If Laura Dern had invited me to the Globes … I would have accepted without hesitation

    Does HR think she’s a POC, or just that she would do a better job representing POCs than the POCs who were actually there?

    1. Oh. Hey. We are playing Who is The Most Politically Correct, are we?
      Not all of the activists were women of colour. Even so, I made that aside to explain that I took no issue with the women who elected to attend the Globes to promote their real causes. As opposed to the fake activism of the event itself.
      Anyhow. Good luck in your next game of the Name the Oppressor Olympics.
      Dick.

  32. Fortunately, I was overseas without access to a television when all this transpired so missed the coverage of the Golden Globes, however what little I’ve seen since returning of Oprah’s ‘speech’ in particular and the adulating audience egging her on was enough to have me reaching for the gag bucket.

    Honestly, what a sad sack of self-indulgent, self-congratulatory, narcissistic suck holes are the Hollywood actors’ club. All teary-eyed giving Oprah a standing ovation, as if somehow, as a collective, they have the power and influence to change the world.

    Serious vomit-inducing stuff.

  33. Brilliant analysis as always… Changing a frock colour is never going to effect structural and legislative changes nor address power and inequality… On another note: was it Streep who led a standing ovation for Polanski in recent times?

  34. With work for women in front or behind camera in our industry at its usual rate of a tap dripping in a drought, I had almost forgotten why I had bolted from Hollywood 30 yrs ago. Thank you Helen with your usual refreshing, no bullshit radar representing the mostly sane media commentary in this country for reminding me.

  35. Dear oh dear, Helen and her loyal group of bitter post feminazis. Definitely great to hear a different perspective but anyone who watches award shows “only to despise” and then talks about hatred is really just running out of new ideas and relying on the old crutch of ‘if they’re beautiful they must be dumb’ cliché. I hear the venom but it doesn’t inspire me, it actually had me laughing, and not in a good way.

    1. Off you pop to a nice dose of your friendly feminism, then.
      A place where everyone pretends they are above being low in front of the telly.
      I do not believe that a woman who has been gifted a standard of acceptable beauty is stupid by default. But, dude. Have you ever met an actor? Not the brightest bunch.

  36. Great article. I didn’t understand the big deal about them all wearing black (regardless of labels present or shunned). Like black wasn’t a dress colour frequently worn by women to things like the GGs anyway. Yeah, big meaningful reorganisation of wardrobe required there…?

  37. Enjoyed you article. I had wondered (to myself) if any effort to clean up the entertainment industry – misogyny-wise – would have any effect whatsoever of the 99.999% of people not in the entertainment industry. I had my doubts. There was a huge Womens March in the US last year, and again I wonder what it achieved.

    Then I read an article about small groups of activists across the US organising properly and making an actual difference – like to the election recently in Alabama, and the BLM movement who have actual organised chapters and projects that are making a real difference. They’re not big and loud, but they seem to work. So, it can be done, but I too am doubtful these ‘hollywood elites’ are going to organise anything useful in the long term, particularly for the farm worker.

  38. The underlying ploy is to present ‘both sides’ of the current issue getting headlines. Most, without giving it any further thought, will just accept that these are the *only* sides to consider and what you do so well, Helen, is to point out that there is an actual side that no-one has thought about (just as was intended).
    What Hollywood is doing here, with the complicity of all who participated, is to present both the left (sinister) and right (dexter) hands. The sinister is Weinstein et al. and the dexter is all these _actors_ playing _their parts_ as the righteous who will smite them. This dexterous manipulation allows the majority to subconsciously conclude “great! they’ve got this and I don’t have to do anything” thus allowing nothing at all to change for the real victims of the unrelenting, universal perpetration of mistreatment, molestation, harassment and rape.

  39. Yes!
    The Golden Globes is a bubble that has little to de with real America, as unreal as Oprah’s relentless all-American optimism.

  40. Alleluia! And Laura Dern – we don’t need to teach our children that they should speak up (it’s too late then) – we need to teach them the basics of respect and tolerance for one another regardless of gender or race.

    1. Fran, I have been reading most of these comments and I heartily concur with yours -basic manners and respect. I am a bloke and I acknowledge the paucity of roles for females in the film industry – but seriously, whose fault is that? (I don’t pretend to have an answer but I do know it’s not as simple as men in suits in board rooms dictating the status quo. I have written four screenplays which I believe to be worthy, all with positive female protagonists and pitched to women execs – to no avail. The way I read the feedback is that maybe there isn’t a market for them! Says who?)

      Jeff McMahon

      1. Yes. People should be better. Good luck with that project.
        Surely, the question is how to build a world in which people can be better. Actually easier than going about and telling every individual to pull their socks up.

  41. You only have to look at the Standing Rock protests to see the
    change to the system that has been made over the years as a result of Sacheen Littlefeather declining the 1973 Academy Award on behalf of Marlon Brando.

    For the younger player – the change has been less than zero.

  42. Haha! Just what I needed to read this morning thanks Helen. I can’t believe the media is trying to sell us that a bunch of rich, famous women, drunk on their own self importance and with absolutely no interest in dismantling the economic order which maintains their wealth and power will change anything but what colour dress is popular at parties for the next month or so.

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