This year's Golden Globes threw a spanner in the works when it comes to the usual 'Who are you wearing' red carpet narrative. In allegiance with the Me Too and Time's Up movements, the red carpet - usually sparkling with an array of colourful gowns - made way for the colour black, which became the dress code adhered by those making a silent protest against sexual harassment and gender inequality in the film industry.
Just like the overall mood of the awards ceremony, the red carpet interviews were vastly different to those of last year's. Celebrities used their screen time wisely, to talk about issues that need to be discussed more, not only within the film industry, but throughout the society. Will & Grace star Debra Messing made sure she used her opportunities in front of the camera to talk about the current state of the industry and how to bring change whilst being interviewed by red carpet staple, E! News.
Starting the interview, Messing was asked why she was wearing black for the event. “I am wearing black to thank and honour the brave whistleblowers who came forward [...I'm] wearing black to stand in solidarity with my sisters all over the globe.”
“I’m here to celebrate the rollout of this initiative, Time’s Up. Time is up. We want diversity, we want intersection gender parity, went want equal pay,” Messing said to E! host Giuliana Rancic. However, Messing was pretty quick to call out the network for their history with unequal pay: “I was so shocked to hear that E! doesn't believe in paying their female co-hosts the same as their male co-hosts.” Probably not quite what Rancic was expecting...
Messing was referring to Catt Sadlier, an E! host who resigned in December over the network's pay disparities, after finding out that her co-host Jason Kennedy earned double her salary for the same job.
“We stand with [Catt] and [the wage gap] is something that can change tomorrow. We want people to start having this conversation that women are just as valuable as men.”
Calling out E! whilst being broadcast live to E! viewers was not only clever, but needed. The fear of losing future opportunities/jobs/press in exchange for speaking out is something that's slowly dwindling in Hollywood, but it still exists. With E! being one of the largest celebrity media networks in the world, it's great that they've been called out so publicly, and ironically, on their own show. The interview wasn't prematurely ended by Rancic, and Messing was allowed to fully hit back at the network, with Rancic's co-host Ryan Seacrest adding in, “We love Catt. We love her.”
Messing went on to further demand more diversity within workplaces, particularly spotlighting the inclusion and support of women of colour. She also called for a gender balance of “50/50 by 2020”.
I think we can safely say that's a pretty good use of air time, don't you?