Rashida Jones Shuts Down Critics of the Golden Globes Red-Carpet Blackout
This Sunday, the Golden Globes red carpet will be decidedly monochrome, as a long list of female attendees have pledged to wear black to protest sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The move is being championed by Time’s Up, the anti-harassment coalition launched Monday by hundreds of powerful Hollywood women who raised more that $14 million for a legal defense fund and promise continuous activism including shows of solidarity like this one. But critics of the “blackout” have called the move a weak protest, saying that black is an easy wardrobe choice and that, once again, men won’t be expected to change their behaviors, since they tend to wear black to awards ceremonies whether in protest or not.
But naysayers are missing one vital point, Rashida Jones, a member of Time’s Up, told InStyle this morning. “This is not a silent protest,” the actress said. “I don’t think why we wear black is divisive as much as it is being discussed and debated without all the facts. Many women on the red carpet will discuss what’s important to them about their choice to protest and wear black. We wear black to stand in solidarity with our sisters and to say time’s up on this imbalance of power and the abuses that come with it, regardless of what industry you work in. It’s time for every workplace to look more like our world, where women have equal representation.”
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But Time’s Up is not just an opportunity for women in Hollywood to fight against inequality, said Jones—the group was intent on laying out concrete points of action that anyone, anywhere could take to join the movement. “In the last three months, so many women have been brave enough to speak out, to stand up to the power imbalance and say ‘no more.’ Standing at the open doors created by this collective bravery, the women of Time’s Up felt like it was the right time to think in solution-based terms,” she said. “How can we optimize this moment, when the world is finally focused on systemic abuse of power across industries? How can we advocate for women who have experienced harassment and abuse and also attempt to shift power in the workplace?”
The answer came to them in the form of their Go Fund Me effort. “I think this is where the Legal Defense Fund, which is designed as a tool to empower those affected by harassment and abuse, is vital,” Jones said of the fundraiser, which more than 9000 have donated to in just 15 days. “This fund is for people from all industries who don’t have access to legal representation. So much of these abuses of power manifest in legal bullying of employees that don’t have the means to protect themselves. This fund is already in place and this is something tangible and immediate. You can donate now on Go Fund Me!”
While Time’s Up is an initiative formed by and for all women, said Jones, an important aspect of its mission is to stand up for subgroups of women who have been victimized in ways that others have not. “There is no campaign or movement that can succeed without considering those who have suffered the most injustice. A lot of women’s movements in the past have missed that point, again and again. Women of color, immigrant women, LGBTQ women, disabled women have all suffered at a much higher rate than their white cisgender counterparts,” she said. “Time’s Up’s success depends on our commitment to equal representation across the board, not just gender parity. We live in a world and a country that is diverse. We must represent this diversity at every echelon of power. Now is the time!”
The group’s work has just begun, said Jones, but the tenacity of the women involved makes her believe that their efforts will move the needle. “I have been so moved by the quick community that has come about in the past few months,” she said. “I’m in awe of the passion and determination and thoughtfulness of the women I’ve been working with. It’s so powerful to experience this moment all together. The deep-rooted inequality in our industry felt impenetrable, and, in an instant, we felt hope that this moment could possibly effect real change, in our industry and beyond.”