Golden Globe-winning men stayed mum on sexual harassment, and people are angry

Beth Greenfield
Senior Editor
Sam Rockwell did not acknowledge the Time’s Up movement in his acceptance speech. (Photo: Getty Images)

Even as women grabbed the 2018 Golden Globe Awards by its shiny lapels and shook it into relevancy by turning the focus on sexual harassment, assault, and inequality in Hollywood and beyond, there was a glaring lack of support by some in the biz: men.

While some male attendees spoke out about the issue when asked about it on the red carpet — including Justin Paul, William H. Macy, and Scott Neustadter — and host Seth Meyers spent plenty of time on the topic during his comic monologues, not a single man who won an award saw fit to specifically mention the issues or movements, such as Time’s Up or Me Too, in his acceptance speech.

The majority of women who won used at least a few seconds of the spotlight to acknowledge the activism sweeping the evening and to declare that time is indeed up when it comes to sexual predators. But of all the men who were called up to the podium — including Sam Rockwell, Guillermo del Toro (whose best-director win for The Shape of Water followed Natalie Portman’s noting of “the all-male nominees”), James Franco, Sterling K. Brown, Aziz Ansari, Ewan McGregor, Alexander Skarsgard (who played an abuser), and Gary Oldman (who has an IRL allegedly checkered past) — not one took note of the women’s efforts.

Gary Oldman wore a “Time’s Up” pin on his all-black ensemble but did not say a word from the podium about sexual inequality or harassment. (Photo: Getty Images)

And the deafening silence did not go unnoticed.

“Not a single man who accepted a #GoldenGlobes tonight spoke out about sexual assault, #MeToo, or #TimesUp,” tweeted NARAL. “Wearing a black tuxedo isn’t enough. We need men to SPEAK UP and stand beside us to fight to end sexual assault & rape culture.” The pro-choice organization’s message was retweeted more than 6,600 times and had more than 17,000 likes.

“Feminist troublemaker” and author of Unscrewed: Women, Sex, Power, and How to Stop Letting the System Screw Us All Jaclyn Friedman had several tweets on the topic.

Plenty of others, both men and women, also called out the male winners.

As NBC, ironically, noted on Monday, “Half of the room was trying to turn a once-frivolous event into a protest; the other half of the room was seemingly pretending that the protest didn’t exist.”

Or as Lindy West called out in a recent New York Times op-ed, “Time’s Up feels like an appropriately cinematic turn — it’s the third act and our heroine is angry. She’s finally stepping into her power. It’s beautiful to watch. But I can’t stop coming back to that old question. Men: What exactly is it that you do here?” Instead of “apologizing for their gender, fretting about old drunken hookups and begging for guidance on what they can do to help,” she writes, perhaps men could pitch in a little more.

Her suggestions: “How about Matt Damon refuses to show up to work until his female co-stars are paid as much as he is? How about Jimmy Fallon refuses to interview anyone who has been credibly accused of sexual assault or domestic violence? … How about Harvey Weinstein anonymously donates $100 million to that legal defense fund and then melts into the fog as though he never existed?”

Or perhaps, at the very least, how about men at the top of their game add just one more thank-you to their list? To women, for changing the conversation. It would at least be a start.

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