The #MeToo movement has swiftly gone global, and alongside the #TimesUp campaign, a bright light is being shone on the corruption within Hollywood and all other working industries when it comes to sexual misconduct, as well as gender equality in the workplace. Both campaigns individually represent important social issues and raise awareness of women's experiences, bringing their rights and safety to the forefront of discussion.
According to TMZ, who are known for meticulously monitoring trademark applications in the US, a make up brand has applied to trademark the hashtag #MeToo. TMZ also said that the application stated that Hard Candy Makeup's CEO intends to “give back to women worldwide”, but I can't quite help but feel rather uncomfortable about the concept of turning a hashtag that raises awareness for sexual assault victims into a cosmetics collection.
Hard Candy aren't the first to go down this route; other beauty companies have released products as a public stance on the #MeToo movement. LA cosmetics brand Lip Slut released a lipstick called 'Fuck Hollywood' and half of the proceeds go to anti-sexual assault organisations. However if this trademark application is accepted, Hard Candy would be the only brand allowed to use the hashtag for their products.
Due to the nature of #MeToo and what it represents, to try and trademark it doesn't sit right; financially benefitting from a worldwide campaign doesn't exactly scream ethical. Besides, don't marketing teams get paid enough to come up with their own ideas? Despite the CEO's intentions, it's not clear either whether - if #MeToo make up does become a thing - all proceeds would be donated directly to the #MeToo campaign fund, but we'd like to remain optimistic enough that it would. That's not to say that a cosmetics collection whereby proceeds went to the #MeToo fund shouldn't be welcomed, but there are just other ways to go about it. Y'know, for example, not trying to co-opt a hashtag for the sake of your own brand. For now, we'll just have to wait and see how it all plays out.