Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

The deafening silence on harassment among men at the Golden Globes

In a movement centered on seeking better treatment for women, particularly in Hollywood, there was seemingly no buy-in from the men who make entertainment.

by Claire Atkinson /  / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Through all the roaring speeches about women's empowerment and the flood of black gowns worn in solidarity with victims of sexual misconduct on Sunday night in Beverly Hills, there was a deafening silence when it came to the men honored at the Golden Globes.

Related: #MeToo, powerful Oprah speech dominate the Globes

All eyes were on the awards show Sunday night — singularly on how Hollywood would call attention to #MeToo, the movement that began as a snowball and turned into an avalanche.

And the women didn't disappoint. On the Globes red carpet, actresses — many of whom brought leading activists with them as their dates — talked about their decision to wear black, the "Time's Up" initiative and the power of sisterhood. The men, on the other hand, were largely silent.

Standing by like accessories, neither mentioning #MeToo, nor their “Time’s Up” pins if they were wearing one, men at the awards show failed to use the spotlight to bring attention to women's inequality and the power of speaking up.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

One designer, David Korins, tweeted, “While it is unbelievably powerful to see (and hear) all of the actresses bringing activists to the red carpet, it’s completely bizarre that all the men are just wearing black and plugging their own projects. What’s that about?”

NARAL Pro-Choice America, the reproductive rights group, chimed in with the same thoughts, tweeting, "Black tuxedos are not enough. We need men to SPEAK UP and stand beside us to fight to end sexual assault & rape culture."

In a movement centered on seeking better treatment for women, particularly in Hollywood, there was seemingly no buy-in from men involved in the making of the very movies and TV shows that could be instrumental in helping change the conversation.

IMAGES: Activism black is the new black at Golden Globes

"Where were the men?" asked Jess Weiner, a consultant who works with major brands to help them portray women positively. "I've seen that come up quite a bit. Famous actors were incredibly skilled at bringing the conversation back to the movement. Men were left out of the conversation."

Alexander Skarsgård, who won a Globe for his role as a physically and mentally abusive husband in "Big Little Lies," failed to mention violence toward women or the movement that was front-and-center. His on-screen wife, Nicole Kidman, made victims of abuse and women's voices the center of her acceptance speech for best actress.

Justin Timberlake wore a pin, but the singer was taken to task on social media for appearing in a Woody Allen movie, "Wonder Wheel." Allen's daughter, Dylan Farrow, also wondered why the Golden Globe organizers had honored the filmmaker in the past, despite the allegations of sexual abuse against him. Allen has consistently denied those allegations.

And Ryan Seacrest, the E! Entertainment red carpet host, also took heat for continually moving conversations away from sex harassment and back to the awards of the night.

There was one actor who stood out. Mark Ruffalo shared a video on Twitter about his support of abused women (and men), the societal shift and why he chose to wear black. Milo Ventimiglia, a star of "This Is Us," and the actor William H. Macy also showed their support for the #MeToo movement.

Related: Full list of Golden Globe winners

“The men who spoke out, and the men who didn’t, tonight bracketed themselves into the old world order and the new world order," said Cindy Gallop, an entrepreneur who works for change in the marketing industry. "We noticed."

“I was disappointed that the interviewers on the red carpet didn’t ask more men about 'Time’s Up,'" said Melissa Silverstein, who runs the Athena Film Festival and is the founder of “Women and Hollywood,” a website that advocates for gender diversity in Hollywood.

Announcing the best-director category, Natalie Portman sounded angry. “Here are the all-male nominees,” she exclaimed, leaving co-host Ron Howard squirming.

Guillermo del Toro, who directed “The Shape of Water,” delivered an unusual speech given the moment, expressing solidarity not with women, but with imaginary creatures.

“Since childhood I’ve been faithful to monsters. I’ve been saved and absolved by them because monsters are the patron saints of blissful imperfections,” del Toro said.

That led to some eye-rolling from writer and director Leslye Headland. Monster is the word many have been using to describe disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, who has denied a series of serious allegations against him.

Men may have dropped the ball at the Globes, but the night was still a big win for the women — and not just because "nobody was forced to do a mani-cam," said Weiner of the red carpet tradition of talking about manicures. "Women were smart and intelligent and not just glitz and glamour."

Women’s stories swept the board from “Big Little Lies,” to “The Handmaid’s Tale.” And this year’s Globes paid tribute to women of all ages too; Carol Burnett, Sharon Stone, Helen Mirren, and Shirley MacLaine all took the stage.

And Oprah Winfrey won acclaim for her speech, in which she said the effort to change the systemic problem requires the involvement of men. There to receive a Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award, Winfrey delivered a rousing speech that brought the audience to its feet and left the political world wondering if she would run for president.

“A new day is on the horizon," Winfrey said, "and when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women and some pretty phenomenal men are fighting hard to make sure they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody has to say 'me too' again."

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news