An awards show crossroads one year after the Time’s Up Golden Globes

The Golden Globes will take place this Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019

To misquote “A Star Is Born,” awards shows were far from shallow in 2018. Many confronted sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry head on, but as a new year kicks off with the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday one question lingers: Will it continue for another year?

For an event that’s more known for its boozy moments than promoting social causes, the Golden Globe Awards went all in as the first major show of the #MeToo era last year. It embraced the newly formed Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund , the red carpet was overtaken by a symbolic sea of black dresses, major stars walked proudly alongside activist leaders, Oprah Winfrey gave a barn-burner of a speech about empowerment and Natalie Portman even got in a jab about the all-male directing nominees while presenting the best director award.

READ MORE: Dick Cheney biopic ‘Vice’ tops Golden Globes nominations

Every televised and non-televised event to come had to take the stage in the shadow of the Globes, and all did so in their own way, sometimes with jokes and sometimes with statements: The Screen Actors Guild had all-female presenters, guests wore white roses at the Grammys and the Oscars gave a spotlight to Time’s Up leaders and Harvey Weinstein accusers Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, and Annabella Sciorra.

But this year will be different. With just days to show time, there are no major statements or demonstrations planned for the Golden Globes show or the red carpet, and it could very well set the tone for what’s to come with the other awards shows.

“This year, there’s no sense of urgency the way there was last year,” said Steve Pond, awards editor for The Wrap. “By the same token, there is a sense of ‘we can’t go back.’”

Subjects like equality and inclusiveness are now permanent fixtures of awards show discourse, Pond said, and their absence from topics discussed on stage would be “conspicuous.”

“But the business of everybody wearing black, I think that was kind of a one-time thing until something else that cataclysmic happens and needs to be addressed,” Pond said.

Hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh have said that they don’t necessarily intend to get political on Sunday night, but will leave the door open for anyone who wants to use their platform to do so. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Samberg said he thinks “people could use a little smile.”

“Not to ignore anything, but we spend so much time every day wallowing in a lot of things that are happening in?our world that are really depressing, and with good reason — that stuff needs to be paid attention to — but there’s also power to being positive and celebratory in the tougher times as well,” Samberg said.

Oh added: “I don’t think it’s shallow?to 1) have fun and 2) be honestly celebratory…. What I’m interested in is pointing to actual real change.”

The “change” Oh referenced includes the cultural phenomena of films like “Black Panther,” nominated for three awards (best drama, best original score and best original song) and “Crazy Rich Asians,” nominated for best musical or comedy and best actress (Constance Wu).

In other words, this year it’ll be up to the individual to make a statement. Wendy Shanker, an awards show writer who has also written speeches for individual Oscar winners, marveled at the way the actresses in Time’s Up took control of the “awards season narrative” at the Globes last year.

“I don’t know that they necessarily need to do the same thing this year. But I do believe that you will see many of the women and men on stage referencing #MeToo, referencing the shift in our culture,” Shanker said.

That also goes for presenters and guests.

“I think they will book people who have strong vocal public personas,” said Shanker. “Producers know that’s what keeps a show interesting and I think audiences are engaged by the players of social media who have something to say beyond the performances.”

READ MORE: Michael B. Jordan, Ben Stiller among Golden Globe presenters

Jessica Chastain is one of those who was just announced as a presenter for the show. The Oscar-nominated actress has established herself as a leading activist voice for equal pay and representation in Hollywood and has not been shy about making statements.

“I think people will still have a lot of fun …. people will be looking for fun and glamour,” Shanker said. “(But) the Globes were always ‘the party’ and now this is ‘the party with a message.’ It’s a protest party.”

And Pond said it makes for a more interesting and powerful show.

“In a way the Globes are kind of uniquely suited to doing that because nobody really cares who wins,” Pond said. “You can put the focus on something else and it’s fine.”

Also, for groups like Women in Film, a non-profit organization that advocates for and advances the careers of women in entertainment, having someone like Winfrey speak about #MeToo and Time’s Up on a national platform is undeniably important and has a ripple effect on the culture.

“We wouldn’t have seen the changes we have this year, for example Les Moonves getting fired, if it weren’t for the consistent media attention on the issue,” said Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women In Film, LA. “Next up (is) bringing this same attention to gender parity, because when more women are in power there is less sexual harassment and abuse.”

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon ordered to reinstate terminated firefighters caught having sex at work

City believes arbitration board erred, exploring options

Vernon man arrested following disturbance

Suspect seen fleeing home, tracked down by Vernon RCMP officers

Updated: Scene cleared after accident near Ellison Lake

An accident near Ellison Lake near Kelowna and Lake Country is causing traffic delays

Vernon dust advisory continues

Dusty conditions are mainly caused by road traffic stirring up winter traction materials that have accumulated over winter months.

‘The whole city has changed:’ Okanagan woman in New Zealand reacts to mosque attacks

An expatriate and Muslim students at UBC Okanagan deeply affected by white supremacist shooting

Penticton resident baffled about welcome mat theft

Security footage shows a woman and her dog taking the mat from the property on March 13

Trans Mountain court hearing: B.C. says it won’t reject pipelines without cause

Canada says the proposed amendments to B.C.’s Environmental Management Act must be struck down

Okanagan dancers kick up heels for spring

PHOTOS: Spring Fling sees more than 60 converge in Vernon from as far as Okanagan Falls and Salmon Arm

Carfentanil found in 15% of overdose deaths in January: B.C. coroner

Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than illicit fentanyl and used to tranquilize elephants

B.C. father fights for his life after flu turns into paralyzing condition

Reisig has lost all motor skills with the exception of slight head, shoulder and face movements.

Prescribed burns to start this month in the Okanagan

The Lower Similkameen Indian Band with partners are starting a multi-year burn on Crater Mountain

New highways maintenance contractor begins work April-May

Acciona Infrastructure Maintenance Inc. to service Shuswap, North and South Okanagan

Lack of bus service leaving residents stranded

Ministry’s Health Connections solution visits Salmon Arm just twice per week, once west, once south

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Most Read