At the Golden Globes, black made a #MeToo statement on the red carpet—and beyond.
From the first line of Seth Myers’ opening monologue, it was clear this year’s awards show wouldn’t shy away from the sexual harassment scandal that has shaken the power structure of Hollywood and rippled across other industries.
Many female attendees wore black, not in mourning, but as a sign of their solidarity in standing up for women in the industry.
Many moments highlighted the resolve of women in Hollywood to address gender disparity in the industry. Here are five lessons for all communicators to take from a night filled with activism and message discipline:
1. What you wear can make a bold statement.
The red carpet, commonly a venue for interactions where men talk about their accomplishments and women discuss their fancy attire, became a different platform as women made their clothing part of the overriding message at the awards show.
On the red carpet, women wore black and men wore pins in solidarity with the movement, which aims to make workplaces more intersectional and encourage companies to hire and promote more women, as well as to start a legal defense fund for victims of sexual harassment. In light of those goals and this movement, E! Network’s Live On The Red Carpet made a point to ask not “who are you wearing” but “why are you wearing,” so that the celebrities could talk about the importance of this moment in Hollywood.
2. Always prepare a speech.
Some were thrilled with Aziz Ansari’s win as the first Asian-American lead to win best actor in a comedy series.
— Advancing Justice-LA (@AAAJ_LA) January 8, 2018
However, some felt he failed to address some of the elephants in the room.
I love that Master of None had a plot around working with a predator and then doing the right thing but IRL Aziz Ansari was a coward who said nothing about Louis CK and Dave Becky. #GoldenGlobes
— Vice Admiral Laura Dern (@ashcech) January 8, 2018
Mainly his speech seemed off the cuff; he began by saying he didn’t believe he was going to win because “all the websites” said he would lose.
“I didn’t think I was going to win because all of the websites said I was going to lose.” Master of None star Aziz Ansari, surprise winner of best actor in a TV comedy at the #goldenglobes
— Eric Deggans at NPR (@Deggans) January 8, 2018
PR pros take note: Always prepare a speech, or you risk missing an opportunity to use your platform.
3. Use your keywords.
The rallying cry of the evening was the phrase “Time’s up,” words that harken to the campaign announced on New Year’s Day to end gender discrimination in Hollywood and other industries, sponsored by activists who capitalized on the sea change after the revelations about Weinstein.
The phrase was used in acceptance speeches and in awards introductions, delivering a quick and resounding reminder that there is a bigger campaign out there. The phrase spiked in Google traffic and drove traffic to the website for the campaign.
PR pros would do well to remember that keywords aren’t just for blogs and social media posts. Including them in your live and spoken remarks can also deliver big wins.
4. Message discipline means changing the script.
In a showstopper, Natalie Portman changed her introduction for the Best Director category to highlight the lack of female representation among the nominees.
Co-presenter Natalie Portman provided the necessary jolt, however, when she interjected, “And here are the all-male nominees”—a pointed dig at the snubbing of Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig and Patty Jenkins for Wonder Woman, among other surely deserving possibilities.
No one is pretending that Hollywood has it all figured out all of a sudden, but putting women in more positions of leadership, giving them more films to direct and produce, producing more of their scripts and giving them equal representation in the boardroom is one of the collective goals that was represented in the room tonight.
By diverting from the script, Portman grabbed the spotlight in ways that prepared remarks from other presenters did not.
Twitter users loved the moment:
— UPROXX (@UPROXX) January 8, 2018
— Adriana (@sith_babe) January 8, 2018
— Sarah Rappaport (@SarahRapp) January 8, 2018
and Natalie Portman just did more with two words than any male winner has done with their entire acceptance speech tonight. #GoldenGlobes
— tierney bricker (@tbrick2) January 8, 2018
5. Have social media prepared to accompany your message.
Although the black outfits and rousing speeches made headlines, some well-timed social media posts drove traffic, attracted viewers and explained what all the fuss was about.
A post shared by Alison Brie (@alisonbrie) on
Others used the hashtag #Whywewearblack and shared pictures of them in outfits they wore to the awards show. Some who did not attend wore black at home to show support.
— shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) January 8, 2018
— Shameless (@SHO_Shameless) January 8, 2018
— Reese Witherspoon (@RWitherspoon) January 8, 2018
What were your favorite moments from the Golden Globes, Ragan/PR Daily readers?