Blackout on Golden Globes red carpet for sex harassment victims
Issue of sexual misconduct takes centre stage
The Golden Globes red carpet is usually awash in colour. This year, it was a blackout.
Hollywood's A-listers on Sunday turned out en masse in black - a show of force to draw attention to sexual harassment in showbiz and other industries.
At the gala event at The Beverly Hilton, many men wore pins supporting the Time's Up initiative launched by hundreds of prominent women in Tinseltown to shine a light on sexual misconduct - starting with Sunday's "blacklash".
"People are aware now of a power imbalance. It has led to abuse in our industry... It is everywhere," Meryl Streep, nominated for Best Actress for the film The Post, told E!.
Streep brought activist Ai-jen Poo, head of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, as her plus one.
Denzel Washington - Best Actor nominee for Roman J. Israel, Esq. - said: "It is important to see what is going to happen a year from tonight."
David Thewlis, who starred in last year's Wonder Woman, said the initiative had launched a vital dialogue and admitted he had not been aware of the scale of the problem.
He said: "As a father, as a husband, why wouldn't you be 100 per cent in support of this?"
Michelle Williams arrived with Tarana Burke, who more than a decade ago created the "Me Too" movement that has since exploded on social media.
Emma Watson's special guest was Marai Larasi, executive director of Imkaan, a United Kingdom-based women's organisation.
Amy Poehler entered with Saru Jayaraman, president of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.
Laura Dern was accompanied by Monica Ramirez, co-founder and president of the National Farmworker Women's Alliance, which represents more than 700,000 women working in the agricultural industry, fighting workplace sexual misconduct.
Jessica Chastain, nominated for Best Actress for Molly's Game, said in a televised interview with NBC: "We are here for the Time's Up movement... We stand in solidarity against any abuse of power."
Natalie Portman, who joined Instagram last week to promote Time's Up, wore a black velvet dress and accompanied a pregnant America Ferrera, in a black sequined dress with a tuxedo jacket, on the carpet.
While black was the palette of choice, stars spun their own twist with an array of textures and silhouettes - Tracee Ellis Ross donned a black headwrap with a black satin Marc Jacobs halterneck dress, Claire Foy opted for a black tuxedo suit and Debra Messing wore a black sequined dress with trousers.
For the most part, the pops of colour were minor - a snippet of white or silver fabric at a neckline here or sleeve there.
But Ms Meher Tatna - president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which organises the Golden Globes - caused a stir when she appeared in a bright red ensemble.
"It is a cultural thing," the Mumbai-born Los Angeles-based journalist, who writes exclusively for The New Paper, told Entertainment Tonight.
"When you have a celebration, you do not wear black."
Three Billboards wins big as Golden Globes powers through sex scandal
Dark drama Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri was the big winner with four Golden Globes awards on Sunday, on a night marked by jokes about sexual harassment and passionate odes to those who spoke up.
Gary Oldman was named best drama movie actor for his role as British wartime leader Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour, while Frances McDormand took home the award for drama actress for her role as an angry mother seeking vengeance in Three Billboards.
Lady Bird won best comedy film and its star Saoirse Ronan won for comedy actress, while James Franco won the comedy actor award for his cult movie homage The Disaster Artist.
However, the ceremony was dominated not by who won awards but by jokes and speeches about the sexual misconduct scandal that has rocked Hollywood.
"Happy New Year Hollywood! It's 2018. Marijuana is finally allowed and sexual harassment finally isn't," quipped host Seth Meyers in his opening remarks, bringing applause from the A-list audience at the Beverly Hilton ballroom.
Referring to the male nominees, Meyers added: "This is the first time in three months it won't be terrifying to hear your name read out loud."
Oprah Winfrey said in a rousing speech while accepting the annual lifetime achievement award: "Each of us in this room is celebrated because of the stories we tell, and this year we became the story. But it's not just a story affecting the entertainment industry... I want to express gratitude to all the women who have endured years of abuse and assault because they, like my mother, had children to feed and bills to pay and dreams to pursue."
Laura Dern, a supporting actress winner for Big Little Lies, added: "Many of us were taught not to tattle. It was a culture of silencing, and that was normalised. May we teach our children that speaking out without retribution is our culture's new north star."
The HBO TV mini-series was one of several female-driven winners, following best TV drama series The Handmaid's Tale and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Amazon's new series about a 1950s housewife who becomes a stand-up comedienne, which took best TV comedy or musical series.
The Golden Globes ceremony, the first of the major awards shows in the run-up to the Oscars in March, marked the first big test for how Hollywood would handle the high-profile scandal. - REUTERS