The biggest, flashiest accessories that stars brought to this year’s Golden Globes were not shoes or handbags, but progressive political ideas. The awards program was billed as a show of solidarity against sexual harassment, but instead, it was another reminder of just how far left Hollywood is veering and how progressives are attempting to use this issue for political ends.
The Time’s Up movement made a big splash Sunday night. The new campaign was launched with Hollywood star power to organize Americans against sexual harassment in Hollywood and workplaces across America.
Just one week old, Time’s Up earned better brand positioning at the Golden Globes than any of the show's sponsors. Nearly every woman donned a black dress, as called for by the campaign, and every man eschewed tuxes for all-black suits. Many of the men also wore Time’s Up lapel pins.
A few big-name celebrities went even further, by inviting social justice activists as their guests. It was meant to be a display of solidarity between Hollywood and the working world, but landed more like desperate virtue-signaling from an image-is-everything industry that struggled very publicly with the sins of sexism, and silence, in 2017.
Actress Michelle Williams posed with her guest Tarana Burke, the original founder of #MeToo. Emma Watson’s guest was Marai Larasi, the head of Imkaan, a black feminist network organization in the United Kingdom. Meryl Streep was accompanied by the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Ai-jen Poo. Amy Poehler brought Saru Jayaraman, the president of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United & ROC Action, and Susan Sarandon’s guest was organizer Rosa Clemente, the founder of PR [Puerto Rico] On The Map.
Watching rich, famous, and beautiful starlets parade around with these activists was the pinnacle of self-congratulatory back-patting. Perhaps they believe that they can dust their hands off because they hope that Time’s Up will be the cure to the cancer of sexual harassment in the workforce.
We can all welcome their efforts to combat the sexual mistreatment of women. That’s not a partisan issue, and of course, we wish the Time’s Up campaign the greatest success in legally defending women who have been victimized.
But Americans have good reason to suspect that there’s more to Hollywood’s current obsession with fighting sexual harassment than meets the eye. A closer look at the Time’s Up website, and at the backgrounds of last night’s special guests, reveals a major flaw: The campaign intentionally confuses the issues of gender discrimination, unequal pay, sexual harassment, and gender violence to weave a narrative of women as helpless victims in the workplace. They peddle the message that rampant grievances for women can only be addressed by more and stronger government mandates and laws.
They favor a progressive political agenda and side only with some women – not all.
Rosa Clemente, the 2008 vice presidential candidate for the Green Party, has denigrated white women for supporting candidate Trump. On Twitter, she posted: “Yes white women sure did do that. They are awful.”
Groups like the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United and the National Domestic Workers Alliance team up with unions to push for higher minimum wages and workplace mandates on paid leave and caregiving. They claim to fight for poor women in the workforce, but ignore the damage that some of their policy prescriptions inflict on the same vulnerable women.
California’s $15 minimum wage, for example, is predicted to cost nearly 400,000 jobs with the majority in industries that heavily employ female workers, and Seattle’s higher minimum wage left workers with a $125 monthly pay cut.
Of course, all of these issues deserve debate, and Hollywood celebrities, like other Americans, are welcome to use their freedom of speech and their sphere of influence. But the issue of sexual harassment should be considered separately from other issues, like minimum wage, paid leave mandates, or other planks in the progressive platform.
Sadly, Time’s Up increasingly appears to be a blatant attempt to politicize women’s personal and painful experiences to promote an agenda that victimizes women instead of empowering them.
Patrice Lee Onwuka (@PatricePinkFile) is a contributor to the Washington Examiner's Beltway Confidential blog. She is a senior policy analyst with the Independent Women's Forum.
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