Golden Globes: #MeToo movement set to make major impact on awards

The first major ceremony of the season comes after a tumultuous year in Hollywood, and stars will pay tribute to the women who have spoken out against sexual harassment

Awards season kicks off on Sunday, when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association will reward the best films and TV shows of the year. But the conversation around the 75th Golden Globes has centred less on the potential winners and more on how the ceremony will be affected by the ever-growing #MeToo movement.

Many of the night’s A-list attendees are expected to wear black in support of the women who have spoken out about sexual predators in recent months. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot as well as nominees Holly Hunter, Saoirse Ronan, Mary J Blige and Allison Janney have all confirmed that they will be part of this statement.

“I think that will be really powerful,” Janney, who is nominated for her part in the Tonya Harding comedy I, Tonya, said earlier this week. “I will be in a black dress and be proud to be standing there with the other actresses.”

The #MeToo movement had led to a war of words between Rose McGowan and nominee Meryl Streep, after the former accused the Oscar-winner, among others, of hypocrisy. “It hurt to be attacked by Rose McGowan in banner headlines this weekend, but I want to let her know I did not know about Weinstein’s crimes, not in the 90s when he attacked her, or through subsequent decades when he proceeded to attack others,” Streep responded in a statement. “I wasn’t deliberately silent. I didn’t know.”

While last year’s jokes and speeches centred on Donald Trump, this year’s host, comedian and late-night talk show presenter Seth Meyers, has said that the evening will be unavoidably dominated by talk of sexual harassment in Hollywood. “With the monologue, as far as talking about anything in the news right now, it seems like this year more than ever Hollywood has its own internal politics that obviously deserve to be talked about,” he told People magazine. He also told Us Weekly that he finds the attendees’ decision to stand together and wear black “really exciting”.

High-profile talent agency CAA, whose nominated clients include Streep and Tom Hanks, has decided to cancel its traditional Globes party and redirect the money to a legal defence fund for victims of sexual harassment. In previous years, Netflix had partnered with the Weinstein Company for a post-ceremony party, but the streaming giant has now severed ties with the disgraced producer.

Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water
Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water. Photograph: AP

The political climate is also likely to affect which films and shows come out on top. Women-led dramas The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies are expected to scoop major TV awards, while big-screen winners will likely include films with outsider narratives such as The Shape of Water, Lady Bird and Get Out.

Last year’s awards race was dominated by two films, Moonlight and La La Land, but this year there is a far wider field without clear frontrunners. Guillermo del Toro’s fantastical romance The Shape of Water, about a connection between a mute woman and a sea creature, has the most nominations, but there is similar buzz around Steven Spielberg’s journalism drama The Post and Christopher Nolan’s second world war film Dunkirk.

Ridley Scott’s fact-based thriller All the Money in the World is up for three awards, including one for Christopher Plummer, who replaced Kevin Spacey after he was accused of sexual assault. Spacey was snubbed for his performance in House of Cards, as was Transparent star Jeffrey Tambor, who has been accused of sexual harassment. Both actors have since left their respective shows.

The strongest contenders in the comedic categories are the racially charged horror satire Get Out and coming-of-age tale Lady Bird. They are both critical darlings but would make unconventional best picture Oscar winners in March, with the Academy historically reticent to reward horror films or female narratives. Oscar nominations will be announced on 23 January.

Sunday’s event will see a major upgrade to security, with additional staff on patrol, after a year in which there were terrorist attacks at other major entertainment venues. “This is obviously a high-profile event and there’s a tremendous amount of security put into this,” a spokesperson for the Beverly Hills police department said.


Benjamin Lee

The GuardianTramp

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