Sunday night’s Golden Globes awards were dominated by Hollywood’s sexual abuse scandal and rightfully so.
Being the first major awards ceremony to happen since news first broke towards the end of last year, powerful speeches were made about the issues and stars wore black to show solidarity with victims.
Organised by the ‘Time’s Up’ movement – which is led by over 300 women who work in film, television and theatre – the demonstration saw both men and women donning black to make a statement.
Seeing all of Hollywood come together while wearing black – both men and women – certainly made an impact and showed the world they’re serious about putting an end to sexual harassment and assault within the entertainment industry.
However, there were three actresses who stood out like sore thumbs on the red carpet as they appeared to have missed the memo about the dress code.
Firstly there was Meher Tatna, the president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, who were a traditional Indian ensemble which was bright red.
Tatna did have a good reason for wearing this outfit though as a source told The Wrap:
While the president [of the HFPA] stands with and supports ‘Time’s Up’, she wore the dress she chose with her mother.
As part of her Indian culture, it’s customary to wear a festive colour during a celebration — in this case being the 75th anniversary.
Vice President of programming at CNN, S. Mitra Kalita, also emphasised on Twitter how in India, ‘red is our basic black’.
Tatna also ensured she accessorised with a ‘Time’s Up’ pin showing how despite her outfit choice, she stood in solidarity with the campaign.
— S. Mitra Kalita (@mitrakalita) January 8, 2018
German model and actress Barbara Meier also forewent the dress code opting for a multi-coloured floral gown instead.
In a post on Instagram, Meier explained her choice of outfit, emphasising women should be able to wear whatever they want and express their personality through their clothes:
A lot of women will wear black tonight to support the ‘Time’s Up’ movement! I think this is a great and an extremely important initiative!
Nevertheless I decided to wear a colourful dress tonight. If we want this to be the Golden Globes of the strong women who stand up for their rights, I think, it’s wrong not to wear any sexy clothes anymore or let people take away our joy of showing our personality through fashion.
We were fighting a long time for the freedom to wear what we want to and that it’s also ok, to dress up a little more sexy.
If we now restrict this, because some men can’t control themselves, this is a huge step back in my opinion.
We should not have to wear black to be taken seriously. US women should shine, be colourful and sparkle. Just like it is our nature.
Danke Euch allen für die tolle Unterstützung im letzten Jahr! Ohne Euch wäre ich nicht da, wo ich jetzt bin! ? Wünsche Euch allen einen wundervollen Start in ein spannendes, glückliches, erfolgreiches und vor allem gesundes neues Jahr! ??✨ Möge 2018 viele funkelnde Momente für Euch bereit halten! ✨✨✨ #happynewyear #thankyou #2018 #newyearseve #celebration #timetoparty
Although Meier does make a good point how perhaps the strict black dress code restricts stars’ ability to express themselves at such an important event, the suggestion the demonstration means women cannot dress ‘sexy’ is ridiculous.
Firstly, when was black suddenly made unsexy? Secondly, the demonstration never suggested women couldn’t wear a ‘sexy’ outfit to the awards ‘because some men can’t control themselves’!
In fact, the dress code was about empowering women by uniting Hollywood through wearing the same colour to show they’d had enough!
Viele Frauen werden heute im Zuge der Time‘s Up Bewegung auf dem Roten Teppich schwarz tragen. Ich finde diese Initiative im Allgemeinen super und extrem wichtig. Trotzdem habe ich mich entscheiden, heute ein buntes Kleid zu tragen. Wenn wir wollen, dass heute die Golden Globes der starken Frauen sind, die für ihre Rechte kämpfen, ist es in meinen Augen der falsche Weg, sich nicht mehr körperbetont anzuziehen und uns die Freude am Ausdruck unserer Persönlichkeit durch Mode zu nehmen. Wir haben uns diese Freiheit lange erkämpft, dass wir tragen können, was wir möchten und es auch in Ordnung ist, sich sexy zu kleiden. Wenn wir das einschränken, weil sich einige Männer nicht unter Kontrolle haben, ist das in meinen Augen ein Rückschritt. Wir sollten nicht schwarz tragen müssen, um ernstgenommen zu werden. Wir Frauen sollten strahlen, farbenfroh sein und funkeln. So wie es in unserer Natur liegt! Das symbolisiert in meinen Augen unsere Freiheit und neue Stärke. Um das aber dennoch nochmal klar zu sagen: Viele schreckliche Dinge sind passiert und dürfen sich nie wieder wiederholen! Und wir sollten das immer wieder und direkt ansprechen und aufklären! Ich freue mich auf starke und inspirierende Reden heute Abend! (c) @gettyentertainment — A lot of women will wear black tonight to support the time‘s up movement! I think this is a great and extremely important initiative! Nevertheless I decided to wear a colorful dress tonight. If we want this to be the Golden globes of the strong women who stand up for their rights, I think, it’s the wrong way not to wear any sexy clothes anymore or let people take away our joy of showing our personality through fashion. We were fighting a long time for the freedom to wear what we want to and that it is also ok, to dress up a little more sexy. If we now restrict this, because some men can’t control themselves, this is a huge step back in my opinion. We should not have to wear black to be taken serious. US women should shine, be colorful and sparkle. Just like it is our nature. In my opinion this symbolizes our freedom and our new strength. But to make clear: A lot of bad things happened and should never happen again!!!
The final actress who decided to not wear black was Blanca Blanco who stepped out in a revealing red gown.
Receiving a huge backlash on social media, Blanco quickly fought back online tweeting:
The issue is bigger than my dress colour #TIMESUP.
Red is passionate.
Red is passionate
— Blanca Blanco (@blancablanco) January 8, 2018
Although Blanco is correct when she says the issue is much bigger than the colour of the dress she wore, critics were still claiming she should have worn black to show her support.
I’d like to point out Blanco didn’t even wear a ‘Time’s Up’ pin – but who am I to judge?
In an interview with Fox News, Blanco has further explained her decision and emphasised how she does support the campaign:
Wearing red does not mean I am against the movement. I applaud and stand by the courageous actresses that continue to break the cycle of abuse through their actions and fashion style choices.
It is one of many factors leading women to a safer place because of their status.
I am excited about the #TimesUp movement; true change is long overdue.
Speaking about the criticism she received, Blanco added:
It hurts my feelings, but I guess it’s part of being in our industry. We have people who appreciate you and others that don’t.
The designer Atria Couture did an amazing job with my dress and I appreciate them for dressing me.
Shaming is part of the problem.
This final line by Blanco is an excellent point – shaming her for her outfit choice is problematic as shouldn’t she be allowed to wear what she wants no matter its colour?
However, I just can’t help thinking the red dress is a part of a publicity stunt in order to draw media attention to herself?
If she did truly support the movement, then shouldn’t she have worn black just like everyone else? I think it’s quite simple really.
Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.