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Men Dressed the Part at the Golden Globes, But Still Fell Short

Few were willing to talk about Hollywood’s sexism problem on the red carpet.

Ryan Seacrest at the 2018 Golden Globes Photo: NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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Last month, actresses pledged to wear black to the Golden Globes to protest sexual harassment and gender inequality in Hollywood — and they certainly delivered. The overwhelming majority of women showed up on tonight’s carpet in all-black attire; you could count the number of outliers on one hand. More importantly, however, most actresses used their red carpet interview slots not to chat about their nominations or reveal who designed their outfits, but rather to discuss the issues that inspired their sartorial show of solidarity.

During her chat with E!’s Giuliana Rancic, Debra Messing boldly took the network to task for its alleged wage inequality. Others, like Emma Stone and Michelle Williams, ditched their usual plus-ones in favor of women activists (like tennis pro Billie Jean King and #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, respectively) — and spent their on-air time talking up their dates’s accomplishments. And Viola Davis extended her support to the millions of sexual assault victims outside the Hollywood bubble.

The same, unfortunately, can’t be said of most of the men in attendance on Globes night. While the majority did show up in all black as well (so, black dress shirts to match their black tuxedos) and many wore Time’s Up pins on their lapels, precious few broached the topic of what Time’s Up is actually about. Or chose to use their red carpet interviews to discuss anything other than their own screen projects, really.

There were a few notable exceptions: While being interviewed on NBC, Denzel Washington spoke about the importance of the #MeToo movement, saying, “It’s important tonight, but it’s important to follow through. It’s important to see what’s going to happen a year from tonight.” Armie Hammer urged viewers to donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which to date has raised almost $16 million to provide subsidized legal support to female victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. And Neil Patrick Harris, in conversation with Ryan Seacrest, attempted to discuss Harvey Weinstein — only to have the E! host abruptly pivot to questions about Harris’s recent vacation.

In fact, Seacrest seemed eager to avoid talk of Hollywood’s sexual harassment problem throughout the evening, a fact made worse by the fact that the Seacrest himself was recently accused of misconduct by a former E! wardrobe stylist. But although he appeared reluctant to discuss Time’s Up with those in attendance (and his fellow men in particular), some didn’t let him get away with it — like Michelle Williams, who politely but firmly steered the topic back to Tarana Burke’s work when Seacrest brought up Williams’s nomination for All the Money In the World.

It certainly seems as though the women of Hollywood are ready for the red carpet to change. The question is... is the red carpet?