**While Beautype loves the movement and Oprah’s speech, we in no way endorse another celebrity for the president of the United States. We believe this movement has the power to encourage TRUTH not to preposterously elect another unqualified person to hold the most important position in our nation.**
The Golden Globe attendees gave a new meaning to the phrase statement piece. Like many industries, not everything in Hollywood is beautiful and glamorous. Every black gown and suit worn Sunday evening did more than accentuate features and prompt questions about designers. Members of Hollywood chose to change the conversation. The awards ceremony was painted black and ornamented with #TimesUp pins. What at first glance was simply an elegant uniformity, revealed itself as a symbol of reform. Broken silences were the catalyst. The time has come for solidarity and change, and the time has run out for oppressive social structures, “tyrants and victims and secrets and lies.”
For many, the insidious air surrounding the sexual assault accusations goes beyond the predatory behavior in the industry, but the fact that it was a well known secret in Hollywood, that was even joked about. In 1998, Gwyneth Paltrow commented on how lucky she is to do her work with Harvey Weinstein’s Miramax but admitted to being coerced to do “a thing or two.” On the red carpet in 2005, Courtney Love advised young women, “if Harvey Weinstein invites you to a private party at the four seasons, don’t go.” Jokes about the well-known misconduct even reached nationally televised shows like 30 Rock and the Academy Awards. “They’re [behavior is] endemic to the system,” Emma Thompson commented during an interview, “this has been part of women’s world since time immemorial. So, what we need to start talking about is he crisis in masculinity – the crisis of extreme masculinity which is this sort of behaviour – and the fact that it is not only okay, but it is also represented by the most powerful man in the world at the moment.”
Silence has been perceived as an act of betrayal. People think, how could you stand idly by? We are actively trying to blame someone and our accusatory fingers often fall on victims themselves, and hypocrisy pervades this issue making it difficult to understand. However, if this movement has taught us anything it is that it could be anyone. It is easy to resign ourselves to anger toward the passivity of the actors and other members of the industry, but they are a part of a normalized system, one reinforced daily by the same silence they are imprisoned by. It is not a time to blame the silence or the onlookers. Now that the silence has been broken, it is time now that people speak and enact change. Oprah declared, “uncovering absolute truth keeps us from turning a blind eye to corruption and injustice.” People will always abuse power, but now those people have to take responsibility.
It reminds us of the story of Emmett Till, one Dave Chapelle mentioned in his Netflix special The Bird Revelation. Chapelle revealed to many that the woman who was linked to Emmett Till’s murder told a historian that the claims that lead to his death were false. It was a broken silence that vilified her, a silence broken too late for Emmett Till, but a necessary truth. Though the nature of these crimes are different, this instance speaks to how necessary the truth is. Celebrities both witnesses and survivors, and unnamed victims are still considered victims themselves, forced into silence because they are afraid it might happen to them or that they’ll be blacklisted from the industry. We must never forget, and Oprah reminds us that these are not isolated instances. Sexual assault is not more real because it happens to celebrities. The behavior we have observed and these silences pervade social spaces and businesses of all kinds.
The movement has moved beyond sex. It’s become less about if you’re a woman or a man and more about if you are a human being subjected to the possible victimization of sexual assault. That can be filled by literally anyone. It’s an issue that Oprah is, “one that transcends any culture, geography, race, religion, politics, or workplace.” The social movement, misnamed a scandal, has done quite a bit right by unifying to reflect the demographic of the society it wants to integrate its values into. Men and women came together to amplify one another’s voices to highlight the shortcomings of the industry, what they will no longer stand for. If it has taught us anything it is that solidarity and unity make the hope for a better tomorrow serve as a light, illuminating the way for more men and women to speak their truth into a future where, “no one ever has to say ‘me too’ again!”