Karen Fratti
January 08, 2018 9:38 am
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

In may ways, the 2018 Golden Globes ceremony was more a protest than an award show, and the effect was quite empowering.

Women wore black and walked with social justice activists. Many who took the stage, including host Seth Meyers, spoke about the predatory, sexist culture that all women live and work in. Not all protests are perfect, though, which is why it was disappointing that the Golden Globes called out Hollywood for its treatment of women, but didn’t mention Donald Trump or the 19 sexual assault allegations against him. Amid all of the protests going on at the event, including Debra Messing accusing E! of paying women less or Natalie Portman’s sly reminder that the Hollywood Foreign Press has a gender representation issue, ignoring Trump and his accusers felt like a glaring omission. HelloGiggles’ request for comment from the Time’s Up team was not immediately returned.

If anything, calling out Trump should have been obvious. Hollywood usually prides itself on checking the power in Washington D.C., so it was striking that during the entire show, basically no one mentioned Trump by name, except for one joke that Meyers made about Oprah Winfrey running for president in 2020.

It’s not as if this wasn’t “the time or place” to call this out, either. It was the perfect time.

Most of the women wearing black in support of the Time’s Up movement, which drove the conversation at the Globes, have been vocal opponents of Trump. After all (and again), Trump has been accused of sexual assault or harassment by 19 women in total. And then of course there’s the now-infamous Access Hollywood tape, as well as a slew of sexist, degrading comments he made, like referring to Megyn Kelly as having “blood coming out of her wherever” or calling her a bimbo.

And yet “Trump” was barely uttered on Sunday night. While so many took a commendable stand against gender inequality, called to action by the #MeToo movement, nobody mentioned that the commander in chief has been accused of sexual misconduct by, and again, 19 women that we know about.

It’s particularly disappointing since the Time’s Up movement is specifically meant to empower women who don’t have a Hollywood platform to come forward, much like many of Trump’s accusers, who are being discredited by the administration at every turn.

For some background, the Time’s Up initiative was started by hundreds of women in entertainment, including Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes, Ava DuVernay, and more to create a legal defense fund for low-income women to fight sexual harassment in the workplace, hold companies with patterns of abuse accountable, and discourage the use of non-disclosure agreements to settle sexual assault and harassment claims, since they often perpetuate the culture of “covering it up.” Already, it’s raised $15 million for the legal fund and women like Anita Hill have signed on to help with the political and legislative arms so that women aren’t settling complaints in backrooms, much like some of Trump’s accusers were forced to do. As mentioned, a handful of Time’s Up members (the movement is leaderless) walked the red carpet with professional activists just to show how inclusive this movement has to be in order to be effective.

So why didn’t anyone mention Trump’s 19 accusers, none of whom have been given a platform as large as the Golden Globes to speak up? Time’s up on all kinds of sexism and predatory behavior, right?

It’s likely that not mentioning Trump and his accusers may have been by design. Maybe the notion was not to give Trump the dignity of a name drop. And not to say he wasn’t referenced at all. Host Seth Meyers did get in a few jokes at his expense. But the lack of “Trump” mentions did stand out.

If we’re going to stand with all women, we have to stand with the women who have come forward about the president. What’s most striking about the allegations against Trump is that the country has him on tape, whether it’s with Access Hollywood or Howard Stern, describing his sexual misconduct, among other disgusting behaviors. HelloGiggles’ request for comment from the White House was not immediately returned, however, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in December, 2017:

If women are calling men out in every single other industry and forcing them to resign until investigations are completed, forcing Congress’ hand into a investigation could use some of this star power, this empowerment. Much of the hard work of coming forward has been done by the women — all we have to do is stop forgetting about them every time the news cycle changes. Since they were ignored last night, here’s a refresher of just a handful of allegations against the president.

Jessica Leeds

Leeds has accused Trump of putting his hand up her skirt and forcibly kissing her on a plane in the early 1980s. You might remember that Trump discredited her during the 2016 campaign saying, “…Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you.” Leeds has participated in various press conferences and even went on Megyn Kelly’s show to talk about his misconduct. She said that it’s been frustrating watching the #MeToo movement. “It is hard to reconcile that Harvey Weinstein could be brought down with this, and [President] Trump just continues to be the Teflon Don,” she told the Washington Post.

Rachel Crooks

Crooks has accused Trump of forcibly kissing her in an elevator in 2005 while she was working as a receptionist in Trump Tower. She told the New York Times about the incident, “It was so inappropriate. I was so upset that he thought I was so insignificant that he could do that.” She added in the same interview with the Times that she feels like the country’s “forgotten” about her and the other Trump accusers.

Samantha Holvey

When she was 2006 Miss North Carolina, Holvey says that Trump would come in an personally inspect the women in their dressing room, while they were only wearing robes. She told CNN, “He would step in front of each girl and look you over from head to toe like we were just meat, we were just sexual objects, that we were not people. You know when a gross guy at the bar is checking you out? It’s that feeling.”

Holvey, too, feels discouraged by Americans’ reactions to her allegations. She told Today, “It was heartbreaking last year. We’re private citizens and for us to put ourselves out there to try and show America who this man is and how he views women, and for them to say ‘Eh, we don’t care,’ it hurt.”

5 Miss Teen USA contestants

Five Miss Teen USA contestants have come forward, along with many other Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants. They allege that Trump would enter their dressing room without permission, something that the president openly admits he did. Trump told Howard Stern, “You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good. You know, the dresses. ‘Is everyone okay?’ You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’ And you see these incredible-looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.” You can listen to him say it in the audio clip above.

Jill Harth

Harth alleges that Trump made unwanted advances while she and husband were doing a business deal with Trump in 1997. She and her husband later sued Trump for breach of contract, and in the settlement, she withdrew the “attempted rape” complaint.

Harth told The Guardian in an interview, “He pushed me up against the wall, and had his hands all over me and tried to get up my dress again, and I had to physically say: ‘What are you doing? Stop it.’ It was a shocking thing to have him do this because he knew I was with George, he knew they were in the next room. And how could he be doing this when I’m there for business?”

These are just a handful of the 19 women who have come forward describing alleged assault and harassment.

To reiterate: there was barely a mention of Trump during the Golden Globes last night. And this was likely by design, since Hollywood has its own toxic politics to call out and drag into the sunlight. However, amid all the #MeToo and Time’s Up initiatives, not calling out our president for his own toxic behavior (or barely uttering his name) felt like a missed opportunity.  The president has been abusive toward women at a personal level, and now at a policy level. When will Hollywood take him to task?

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