“Activism” Vs. “spreading awareness.” Both different things that often are confused for one another, but is one really more important than the other?
The powers that be in Hollywood have always had a history of hiding terrible things to maintain their star-studded reputation. The truth though, will always find a way to shed its light. For many years, multiple men in Hollywood have been accused of sexual harassment. It wasn’t until last year that these cases were brought to light with the Harvey Weinstein controversy. The Golden Globes were held in Beverly Hills, California on Sunday January 7 when various celebrities united together to bring awareness to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. Those two movements were initially created to stand up for women. It became a response to sexism and discrimination as well as sexual harassment that women face every single day.
However, there was controversy about whether or not dressing in black and wearing a pin can be seen as activism. Of course, I wouldn’t say it was “activism” compared to actual activists who put their blood and sweat into what they do; however, it did get many people talking, and many times, that act itself can lead to change. At least Hollywood isn’t hiding behind all their issues like they normally do. They are acknowledging real problems, for once! Because of the industry’s position of power, the movement of wearing all black has people talking. Everyone must agree that the movement has done a good job of that. Isn’t doing something better than doing nothing at all?
Of course, there are many people who thought that they were transforming the world into one of peace and equity by only wearing black, but they’re were those who actually gave an even bigger platform to people who dedicate their entire lives to activism. Actors like Meryl Streep and Shailene Woodly brought along activists as their plus-ones.
Tarana Burke, an activist brought by Michelle Williams, is the founder of the “Me Too” and senior director of the U.S non-profit organization: “Girls for Gender Equity.” Ai-jen Poo, brought by Meryl Streep, is the director of The National Workers Alliance. Monica Ramirez, brought by Laura Dern, I is the founder of Alianza National de Campesinas, an advocate for farmworkers, Latinas, and immigrants battling against sexual violence. Without this movement, I doubt any activists would be invited to the Golden Globes. By bringing them, the public becomes aware with their work. Focusing on the good when it comes to these situations, brings light to their causes. Even if the bare minimum is what’s being done, it still counts as something, especially when there are some actually trying to spread the message. Of course, there have been some actors attending the award show who have either been accused of rape or are working with rapists, wearing their usual black tuxedos and calling themselves activists. Such as the controversy surrounding working with film director, Woody Allen, who has been accused of rape and child molestation.
Spreading awareness through symbolism is the first step to change. The pins and the black dresses may be portrayed as “nothing”, but they are something. Even if all that is being done is wearing black, it has still done lots to help because of the platforms of these celebrities. It’s time that these problems aren’t hidden if they affect so many. Acknowledging the problem is what leads to change, doing something is what changes things. How could anybody who supports equality not support that? When people choose silence over awareness, that’s when we should become angry.