The red carpet at the 2018 Golden Globes was a sea of black gowns and suits as actors and actresses used their attire to protest sexual harassment in Hollywood. Stars including Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Shailene Woodley, and Amy Poehler have arrived with activists as their plus-ones and the red carpet conversations have focused on gender and racial inequality, rather than designer labels.
Outside of the Golden Globes, a very different but equally compelling demonstration is taking place. A group of women dressed up as handmaids from The Handmaid’s Tale have gathered together as they hold a sign with the simple but powerful message: “Silent No Longer.”
The sign held by the Hollywood Handmaids is bordered with other statements protesting sexism: “finance female projects,” “stop objectification,” “body shaming is shameful,” “hire women directors,” “raise female voices,” “rape jokes aren’t funny,” and “believe her.”
This isn’t the first time protesters have donned attire inspired by Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, which was adapted into a Hulu TV series that happens to be nominated for a number of Golden Globe awards this evening (Elisabeth Moss has already won Best Actress in a TV Drama for her role as Offred, and the program has won Best Television Series, Drama).
In June, women dressed up as handmaids and staged a protest outside the United States Capitol to protest a Republican health care bill that sought to defund Planned Parenthood. On a state level, “Handmaids” in Texas entered the Senate chamber to protest legislation that limited abortion rights.
The Handmaid’s Tale was adapted for TV before the GOP took control of all three branches of government, but the recent attacks on women’s reproductive rights and autonomy have made it eerily relevant. As the issue of gender inequality and sexual predation takes front and center in Hollywood, it’s fitting that handmaids have made their presence known outside the Golden Globes.