For better but spurred by the worst, 2017 was the year of women. The year stepped off in response to admitted sexual predator Donald Trump’s inauguration as president with the record-breaking Women’s March protests. This October The New York Times published its expose on Harvey Weinstein’s serial sexual abuse, which began a reckoning for sexual harassers across industries and moved survivors to speak out as part of the #MeToo movement. Now the upcoming awards season promises to be distinctly political, with women front and center and holding a mirror up to sexual abusers at events like the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild wards.
The Golden Globe nominees were announced this week with feminist-themed shows like Big Little Lies and The Handmaid's Tale nabbing a lion’s share of nominations for the small screen. When the awards are doled out January 7, many women will wear black as an act of solidarity to continue to stand up to sexual harassment, People reports. They include nominees who are also outspoken advocates of women’s equality, such as Jessica Chastain, Meryl Streep, and Emma Stone.
There’s no telling how many nominees will join in on the sartorial solidarity but if social media support of one another and the willingness of people like Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, Julia Roberts, Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o, and dozens of others come out about their #MeToo incidents is any indication, the Globes’ red carpet could be awash with black. And it may not be the only black red carpet of the season. The protest could turn out to be a running theme throughout awards season, according to People.
The Globes won’t be the only show that makes a statement. Earlier this month it was announced that the SAG Awards tapped perennial favorite Kristen Bell to be the ceremony’s first-ever host, a solid choice considering her intersections of general cheeriness, comic and musical chops, and outspoken activism. And this week, it was revealed that the SAG Awards would feature only female presenters.
“Beginning with the Women’s March in January, it’s been the year of the woman,” SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell told The Hollywood Reporter. “This is a unifying salute to women who have been very brave and speaking up.”
Connell elaborated on flipping the dominant script in Hollywood that has been that men rule the box office and women are there to support them, the kind of thinking that led to the Globes nominating zero female directors although Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird and Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman were two of the most well-received, well-reviewed films of the year.
“How many times has a woman walked into a room of predominantly men? We thought, maybe for one night, it’ll be more than 50/50 [onstage],” Connell said. "We don’t want to slight the men who have given great performances this year — knowing our membership, I’m sure our men will embrace the opportunity to honor women.”
The SAG Awards airs January 21 on TNT and TBS.