An awards show crossroads one year after the Time’s Up Golden Globes

The Golden Globes will take place this Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019

To misquote “A Star Is Born,” awards shows were far from shallow in 2018. Many confronted sexual misconduct in the entertainment industry head on, but as a new year kicks off with the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday one question lingers: Will it continue for another year?

For an event that’s more known for its boozy moments than promoting social causes, the Golden Globe Awards went all in as the first major show of the #MeToo era last year. It embraced the newly formed Time’s Up Legal Defence Fund , the red carpet was overtaken by a symbolic sea of black dresses, major stars walked proudly alongside activist leaders, Oprah Winfrey gave a barn-burner of a speech about empowerment and Natalie Portman even got in a jab about the all-male directing nominees while presenting the best director award.

READ MORE: Dick Cheney biopic ‘Vice’ tops Golden Globes nominations

Every televised and non-televised event to come had to take the stage in the shadow of the Globes, and all did so in their own way, sometimes with jokes and sometimes with statements: The Screen Actors Guild had all-female presenters, guests wore white roses at the Grammys and the Oscars gave a spotlight to Time’s Up leaders and Harvey Weinstein accusers Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, and Annabella Sciorra.

But this year will be different. With just days to show time, there are no major statements or demonstrations planned for the Golden Globes show or the red carpet, and it could very well set the tone for what’s to come with the other awards shows.

“This year, there’s no sense of urgency the way there was last year,” said Steve Pond, awards editor for The Wrap. “By the same token, there is a sense of ‘we can’t go back.’”

Subjects like equality and inclusiveness are now permanent fixtures of awards show discourse, Pond said, and their absence from topics discussed on stage would be “conspicuous.”

“But the business of everybody wearing black, I think that was kind of a one-time thing until something else that cataclysmic happens and needs to be addressed,” Pond said.

Hosts Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh have said that they don’t necessarily intend to get political on Sunday night, but will leave the door open for anyone who wants to use their platform to do so. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Samberg said he thinks “people could use a little smile.”

“Not to ignore anything, but we spend so much time every day wallowing in a lot of things that are happening in?our world that are really depressing, and with good reason — that stuff needs to be paid attention to — but there’s also power to being positive and celebratory in the tougher times as well,” Samberg said.

Oh added: “I don’t think it’s shallow?to 1) have fun and 2) be honestly celebratory…. What I’m interested in is pointing to actual real change.”

The “change” Oh referenced includes the cultural phenomena of films like “Black Panther,” nominated for three awards (best drama, best original score and best original song) and “Crazy Rich Asians,” nominated for best musical or comedy and best actress (Constance Wu).

In other words, this year it’ll be up to the individual to make a statement. Wendy Shanker, an awards show writer who has also written speeches for individual Oscar winners, marveled at the way the actresses in Time’s Up took control of the “awards season narrative” at the Globes last year.

“I don’t know that they necessarily need to do the same thing this year. But I do believe that you will see many of the women and men on stage referencing #MeToo, referencing the shift in our culture,” Shanker said.

That also goes for presenters and guests.

“I think they will book people who have strong vocal public personas,” said Shanker. “Producers know that’s what keeps a show interesting and I think audiences are engaged by the players of social media who have something to say beyond the performances.”

READ MORE: Michael B. Jordan, Ben Stiller among Golden Globe presenters

Jessica Chastain is one of those who was just announced as a presenter for the show. The Oscar-nominated actress has established herself as a leading activist voice for equal pay and representation in Hollywood and has not been shy about making statements.

“I think people will still have a lot of fun …. people will be looking for fun and glamour,” Shanker said. “(But) the Globes were always ‘the party’ and now this is ‘the party with a message.’ It’s a protest party.”

And Pond said it makes for a more interesting and powerful show.

“In a way the Globes are kind of uniquely suited to doing that because nobody really cares who wins,” Pond said. “You can put the focus on something else and it’s fine.”

Also, for groups like Women in Film, a non-profit organization that advocates for and advances the careers of women in entertainment, having someone like Winfrey speak about #MeToo and Time’s Up on a national platform is undeniably important and has a ripple effect on the culture.

“We wouldn’t have seen the changes we have this year, for example Les Moonves getting fired, if it weren’t for the consistent media attention on the issue,” said Kirsten Schaffer, Executive Director of Women In Film, LA. “Next up (is) bringing this same attention to gender parity, because when more women are in power there is less sexual harassment and abuse.”

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Province announces more improvements for Highway 14

$85-million project made possible through federal funding support

Wild Wise Sooke founder leaves post

Lush Cosmetics offers much-needed funding for the group

Dog rescued from Colwood house fire

Black Labrador retriever rescued and revived by West Shore crews

UPDATED: Police say Happy Valley shooting and crash is ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Oak Bay double murder trial enters second week

Defence continues to question police handling of crime scene

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Music Monday to unite students across Sooke in song

Over 200 students will carol around town on May 6

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Most Read