The #MeToo movement has been raging since October, toppling dozens of powerful men across a variety of industries. Though it's getting difficult to track all of the accused, nobody can or will forget the first to fall was Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
As the industry that enabled his bad behavior for decades approaches its annual award show season, actresses appear to be preparing a statement. People Magazine reported late last week that "many major actresses," including women who are presenting awards or are nominated for awards, "are planning to wear all-black looks as a symbol of protest against harassment in Hollywood." According to People, the protest is slated to kick off at the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, but may be replicated at other ceremonies as well.
As someone with a vast network or even an entire industry of enablers, Weinstein took Hollywood's moral credibility down with him. That's a sweeping statement, but entertainers eager to distance themselves from the problem should be aware there is little appetite for their sanctimony.
Outspoken actress Rose McGowan, one of Weinstein's accusers, slammed the planned protest. "Actresses, like Meryl Streep, who happily worked for The Pig Monster, are wearing black @GoldenGlobes in a silent protest,” she tweeted (and then appears to have deleted) on Saturday. "YOUR SILENCE is THE problem. You’ll accept a fake award breathlessly & affect no real change. I despise your hypocrisy."
Hollywood is the land of moral posturing and empty gestures. Weinstein's downfall confirmed what much of the public suspected all along, that wealthy celebrities who seldom missed an opportunity to lecture the rest of us were never in any position of moral authority.
Of course, there are exceptions to this, and it's better that Hollywood is addressing its problems than sweeping them under the rug. But coordinated black outfits, sure to be accessorized with solemn statements of solidarity in red carpet interviews, won't impress just about anyone outside the industry. To regain trust, Hollywood should resist its incessant itch to posture and focus on identifying and admitting to its own failures this award season, lest it risk inflaming the public's exasperation.