Lawmakers are planning to wear black while they attend President Trump’s State of the Union address at the end of January, as a way to show solidarity with women who have faced sexual harassment or assault.
According to Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., she and a group of fellow female House members are urging both male and female lawmakers of both parties to wear black at the event. She added that the Democratic Working Women’s Group was strongly backing the move.
“This is a culture change that is sweeping the country, and Congress is embracing it,” Speier said in an interview with NBC News on Tuesday.
The State of the Union is scheduled for Jan. 30. Trump will deliver it before a joint session of Congress.
Last month, nearly 60 Democratic female lawmakers pushed Congress to initiate an investigation regarding accusations of sexual misconduct against Trump. The demand came after several of Trump’s accusers got together for a news conference and shared information about their allegations and called for a congressional probe.
Trump has denied the sexual misconduct allegations levied against him by more than a dozen women.
Trump also recently challenged the authenticity of the now-infamous 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, in which he can be heard bragging about grabbing women by their genitalia without their consent. When the tape first emerged just before the 2016 election, he admitted it was him and apologized for the remarks, which he described as “locker-room talk." Late last year it was reported that Trump was telling people that the tape could have been doctored.
The decision to wear black to the State of the Union is not the first of its kind. At the Golden Globe Awards ceremony on Sunday, many members of the Hollywood elite decided to wear black for the same reasons Speier outlined.
Since last fall, a series of sexual assault and harassment allegations emerged against Hollywood heavyweights, starting with movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who allegedly sexually abused women over the course of 40 years.