This protest pin will be the Golden Globes' trendiest accessory — but will it make a difference?

Reese Witherspoon, along with A-listers like Shonda Rhimes and Emma Stone, started the Time’s Up movement to fight sexual harassment and curated a pin for it. (Photo: Getty Images)
Reese Witherspoon, along with A-listers like Shonda Rhimes and Emma Stone, started the Time’s Up movement to fight sexual harassment and curated a pin for it. (Photo: Getty Images)

Red carpet fashion has taken on a whole new meaning in 2018. At this Sunday’s Golden Globes, actresses are expected to dress in all black on the red carpet, in a silent protest of sexual harassment. Now, we’ve learned that they may also be wearing a more explicit accessory: a Time’s Up solidarity pin.

The pin is a reference to the Time’s Up movement spearheaded by A-listers like Shonda Rhimes, Reese Witherspoon, and Emma Stone. The new organization has already raised over $14 million toward a legal defense fund for women experiencing harassment across industries. According to the Hollywood Reporter, allies will raise awareness for the movement with a pin curated by Reese Witherspoon and designed by Arianne Phillips, the costume designer behind Kingsman and Nocturnal Animals.

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“Reese asked me to come to the actors’ group, and told me they were going to be wearing black and would I consider creating a pin for the nominees and male presenters,” Phillips told THR. “We were up against the holidays, but I said I could do it, and the first person I called was my partner in crime, [Los Angeles jewelry designer] Michael Schmidt.” In just two weeks, Phillips and Schmidt designed the pin and made up 500 to be worn on the red carpet.

While the pin is intended to raise awareness of an active movement, some have criticized the focus on red carpet signifiers as “empty gestures.” Among such critics is Rose McGowan, the actress at the forefront of allegations against Weinstein. “Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest,” McGowan wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy. Maybe you should all wear Marchesa.” (Georgina Chapman, Weinstein’s ex-wife, is the founder of the fashion house Marchesa.)

Fellow actress Amber Tamblyn responded publicly on Twitter to McGowan’s charges. “Our movement is big. And a black dress is just the beginning of the darkness that will be drained from every industry across the country by the time we’re done. That’s a promise,” she wrote.

Supporters of President Trump on the Reddit thread /r/The_Donald are also taking issue with the red carpet solidarity. “Wearing a pin to promote awareness of something they all turned a blind eye to. How special,” one Reddit user wrote. Even in the New York Times, detractors worry that the pin is distracting from the larger issue of sexual harassment. “You can be sure that this weekend at the Golden Globes, Hollywood celebrities, not exactly known for their independent thinking, will turn the red carpet into a #MeToo moment replete with designer duds,” Daphne Merkin writes.

While the sexual harassment allegations may be breaking ground in Hollywood, this is hardly the first time political sentiments have been expressed on the red carpet . At last year’s Oscars, Emma Stone, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ruth Negga, and Karlie Kloss wore blue ribbons in solidarity with the ACLU. Dakota Johnson and Emma Stone added logo pins to support Planned Parenthood to their red carpet looks. Others, like Brad Goreski and the cast of Moonlight, wore ampersand pins as a gesture of support for GLAAD (the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation).

Some even chose to make a political statement with their entire outfit. At last year’s Grammy Awards, Joy Villa wore an American flag-themed dress emblazoned with the Trump campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.” (She’s since filed a sexual assault complaint against Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager.) Ava DuVernay shared a photo of herself with “hoodie still up” to remember Trayvon Martin on the day of the Oscars.

With the Time’s Up movement at the forefront of attention in Hollywood and an industry stylist behind the initiative, we expect to see a lot of activism on the red carpet. We just hope that behind the fashion statements and glitz is the energy for real, substantial change.

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