It was Time’s Up when women in Hollywood came out to tell their stories, some horrific enough to give you sleepless nights and cause acid reflux because of the unfathomable truth behind all that transpired over the years. The most notable name the world heard was filmmaker and producer Harvey Weinstein, credited with making many careers and probably also marooning (so to speak) the ones who didn’t quite ‘fit’ into his process of choosing the cast and crew on a film. Thus, began a series of allegations via #MeToo which went onto be the large-scale exposé which has brought many more names into these important and woke conversations that have had a unanimous fervour across workplaces, regardless of the nature of work or geographies.
What’s noteworthy, however, is that before the #MeToo movement went viral in October 2017, activist Tarana Burke had been using the phrase for over a decade in her lifelong fight to help and protect victims of abuse. she’s been working on for over twenty years: help survivors heal and end sexual violence. According to Amnesty International, “Burke has done work in every area of social justice you can think of, but she has specifically focused on girls of colour and their struggles, particularly around issues of racial and gender equity. She has also gone through the experience herself, and as a young survivor of sexual violence, she realized there weren’t enough resources to start the long path to heal.”
Women came out in support in large numbers and also wore black with a badge that read “Time’s Up” at the Golden Globes last year and there was an expectation of some colour coordination at the Academy Awards in March 2018 too. The conversations, however, continued and have since gone onto Cannes 2018, before a spreading its roots in the Indian workspace dynamics which has hardly spared anyone holding important positions at work. The Oscars had picked up a different, although previously spoken about the topic with an all-new vigour. Inclusivity was the theme for Oscars 2018 and has since reflected in the work we’ve been seeing all through last year before the big awards night of this year – the 91st Academy Awards.
From Oprah to Meryl Streep to Francis McDormand and more, several powerful women have spoken about the movement and lent support on these conversations, while continuing to use their clout to bring about the much-needed change.
The Oscars transcend cinema and are never only about the celebration of arts and the motion picture. It is also where Hollywood stars and filmmakers gather for the ceremony to celebrate a night of great work in the previous year and if given a chance or an opportunity, express their opinions on controversial subjects.
With the controversy around Kevin Hart after he was locked to host the Oscars this year, it remains to be seen what the Academy Awards have in store for film and non-film persons, this year and beyond.
Feb 20, 2019 15:58 IST