Tracee Ellis Ross Explains Why Red Carpets Are No Longer Secretive After #MeToo

Photo: Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock.
In a recent Hollywood Reporter roundtable, Tracee Ellis Ross talked about that pivotal moment in Hollywood when women started speaking about the sexual harassment and abuse they have faced and how the #MeToo movement gave them a platform to speak up.
For Ross, the conversation and the narrative haven’t changed. She believes the thing that's changed is the connection and the relationship with other women. “There is a camaraderie now,” she explained.
In the era of #MeToo, it’s not surprising that women have brought the movement to the red carpet, taking a stand against the sexism they experience at the most glamorous of events where the eyes of the whole world are upon them.
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Back in January, many women and men took a stand against this at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, when a large amount of the attendees arrived in black dresses or tuxedos to protest sexual harassment against women as a show of solidarity.
Ross recounts how there used to be a culture of secrecy around red carpets that has dissipated. “It wasn't about, like, "Oh, I don't want to share [what dress I'm wearing] because she might want to wear it." No, there was a real…” Ross stated, as fellow roundtable attendee Debra Messing finished for her: “Purpose.”
That sense of camaraderie has continued past the Golden Globes. In May, a group of 82 women silently walked with linked arms down the red carpet of Cannes Film Festival. This was symbolic of the fact that in the 70 years Cannes has been around, only 82 films directed by women have been selected to compete, compared to 1,668 male-directed projects.
Women standing arm-in-arm at an event is about more than just a red carpet or actors wearing all black, it’s about shining a light on a movement and uplifting the voices of those who never had one.
Referring to the Golden Globes, Ross felt there was a real purpose during these red carpet events and this is especially true when everyone coming together for a cause. “We switched the power relationship on that carpet, we were there as a collective force.”
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