Read the full statement of the women activists attending the Golden Globes

Tarana Burke, creator of #MeToo, will be on the red carpet.
Tarana Burke, creator of #MeToo, will be on the red carpet.
Image: Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP
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Tonight’s Golden Globes will be unprecedented. Instead of sporting bright colors, many of the actresses will be wearing black to protest against systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and elsewhere. And, for the first time in history, a number of stars will walk the red carpet with feminist activists.

They’re hoping to stress the importance of intersectionality—including different classes, races, ethnicities, abilities, and sexualities—in the fight against institutionalized inequality. Some white Hollywood actresses have been criticized for their insensitive treatment of women of color in recent months, and Trump’s election highlighted the gulf between white feminists and other feminists in America. The #MeToo movement has been widely criticized for silencing the voices of women of color and working class women.

Tarana Burke, senior director of the nonprofit Girls for Gender Equity, who founded the #MeToo movement over ten years ago will attend the Globes with Michelle Williams, who is nominated for an award for her role in All the Money in the World.

Burke created the #MeToo movement to provide “empowerment through empathy” to survivors of sexual abuse, assault, exploitation, and harassment in underprivileged communities who typically don’t have access to rape crisis centers or counselors, she told Ebony. The other seven activists attending the Golden Globes, according to the New York Times, are:

  • Marai Larasi, executive director of Imkaan, a British network of organizations working to end violence against black and minority women, who is attending with Emma Watson.
  • Rosa Clemente, a community organizer focused on political prisoners, voter engagement and Puerto Rican independence, who also ran for vice president on the Green Party ticket in 2008. Clemente will attend with Susan arandon, a nominee for Feud: Bette and Joan.
  • Ai-jen Poo, who organizes female immigrant workers and is the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Poo will attend with Meryl Streep, who is nominated for her performance in The Post.
  • Mónica Ramírez, who fights sexual violence against farm workers and pushes for Latina empowerment. Ramírez will attend with Laura Dern, a nominee for Big Little Lies.
  • Calina Lawrence, a Suquamish Tribe member, singer, and activist for Native American treaty and water rights. Lawrence will attend with Shailene Woodley.
  • Saru Jayaraman, a workplace justice advocate for restaurant workers, who will attend with Amy Poehler.
  • Billie Jean King, the tennis champion who founded the Women’s Tennis Association. King will attend with Emma Stone, who is nominated for her portrayal of King in the film Battle of the Sexes.

Both the blackout and the activist-star partnerships were organized by Time’s Up, a coalition of 300 Hollywood women—actors, directors, producers, writers, agents, and entertainment executives—who have also established a $13 million legal defense fund to provide support for women and men who’ve experienced sexual harassment or abuse in the workplace.

Time’s Up was started after a November 2017 open letter signed by 700,000 US-based female farm workers asked the Hollywood stars dominating sexual harassment headlines include and take action on behalf of working class women, who are more likely to experience sexual harassment and assault at work, and less likely to be believed.

Here’s their full statement:

“As longtime organizers, activists and advocates for racial and gender justice, it gives us enormous pride to stand with the members of the TIMES UP campaign who have stood up and spoken out in this groundbreaking historical moment. We have each dedicated our lives to doing work that supports the least visible, most marginalized women in our diverse contexts. We do this work as participants in movements that seek to affirm the dignity and humanity of every person.

Too much of the recent press attention has been focused on perpetrators and does not adequately address the systematic nature of violence including the importance of race, ethnicity and economic status in sexual violence and other forms of violence against women. Our goal in attending the Golden Globes is to shift the focus back to survivors and on systemic, lasting solutions. Each of us will be highlighting legislative, community-level and interpersonal solutions that contribute to ending violence against women in all our communities. It is our hope that in doing so, we will also help to broaden conversations about the connection to power, privilege and other systemic inequalities.

Many of us identify as survivors of sexual harassment, assault and violence ourselves and we believe we are nearing a tipping point in transforming the culture of violence in the countries where we live and work. It’s a moment to transform both the written and unwritten rules that devalue the lives and experiences of women. We believe that people of all genders and ages should live free of violence against us. And, we believe that women of color, and women who have faced generations of exclusion – indigenous, Black, Brown and Asian women, farmworkers and domestic workers, disabled women, undocumented and queer and trans women — should be at the center of our solutions. This moment in time calls for us to use the power of our collective voices to find solutions that leave no woman behind.

This past year was a powerful one in the fight for gender equity and against sexual violence against women – from the Women’s March to the re-emergence of ‘me too’ as a viral hashtag that brought more than ten years of survivor-centered work to the mainstream. There is still much work to do, and many hands required to do it. We want to encourage all women- from those who live in the shadows to those who live in the spotlight, from all walks of life, and across generations- to continue to step forward and know that they will be supported when they do.

The #TIMESUP initiative joins an ever-growing collective of organizations, movements, and leaders working to end gender-based violence. We look forward to partnering with them and others to organize, support all survivors, and find solutions that ensure a future where all women and all people can live and work with dignity.”