Last night’s Golden Globes were important. Activists walked the red carpet. Actors wore black. Oprah’s Cecil B. DeMille speech was powerful, rousing, and made everybody cry. Interviewers asked attendees how they felt about #MeToo, Time’s Up!, and the changing climate of the industry. In return, attendees reminded E! and NBC that this is just the beginning; that a single night doesn’t cancel out decades of harassment and abuse and fear and tyranny. Which is true. But we can’t let anybody forget that.
Obviously, the revelations of the last few months have set the tone for this year’s award season. It’d be tone-deaf and obtuse to ignore what we’ve learned and to act as though a few speeches were enough to spur the changes that will take years to put into place. Especially since right now, we’re still sifting. We’re combing through our experiences, the experiences of those we know and those we know of, and the allegations against familiar faces. And that’s a lot. You don’t process that shit — and the tidal wave of even more shit that we all know is coming — over the course of a few hours. It takes weeks. Months. Years. The Globes and its displays of solidarity and the themes associated shouldn’t be a one-season extravaganza. It should be what life is now.
Because it’s what life’s always been. What Weinstein and Spacey and the names just like theirs have in common is that they operated fearlessly and forever. They operated while wielding their power and getting off on how they were protected within a system. Predators are a symptom of a sick and toxic set of norms, and those norms don’t go away because famous people wear black one night. And we know this. Predators know this. Survivors know this. Better than anyone, actually.
So while we talk about the Golden Globes going down in history, we need to think less about them as the event, and more as one event; as one important and powerful night that signified that change was coming, but not yet arrived. After all, few men used their speeches to address Time’s Up or #MeToo. All nominated directors were men (thanks to Natalie Portman for shouting that out, by the way). We all wept during Oprah’s speech because it had been so long since anyone (including world leaders) (especially world leaders) had made us feel so hopeful, so much less alone, so capable of inciting change. So much of last night still seemed novel, new, and special. And when protest doesn’t seem that way anymore — when outrage and outspokenness are no longer surprising or greeted with, “Oh wow! She really went for it!” then we know we’re getting closer to the end goal.
But until then, the Globes were a good, important, and powerful night. They were also one night of a million, with 98% of that million ahead of us still.
Photo credit: Los Angeles Times