During Sunday night’s Golden Globes, women in Hollywood predictably raised the bar and men continued to disappoint.
In the face of some justifiable concerns over the centering of style over substance, the women organizing under the banner of Time’s Up managed to truly elevate the conversation. Instead of offering vague words of empowerment, actresses stuck to their messaging and put career organizers front and center, emphasizing that this is an intersectional movement with clear goals and an inclusive agenda.
From questioning E!’s gender pay gap during the E! red carpet to passing the mic to a wide range of activists, this widely anticipated #MeToo moment was about as monumental and unexpectedly moving as any sort of buzzworthy, awards show “moment” can hope to be. But while these women clearly worked hard to exceed expectations, men at the Golden Globes more or less did as little as ever. In comparison to their female counterparts, male A-lister’s were barely asked to speak to their decision to wear black on the red carpet—let alone pressed on their own “complicated” pasts or potential complicity.
Ryan Seacrest can choose not to cross-examine male A-listers all he wants—the rest of us haven’t forgotten that Justin Timberlake is in the new Woody Allen movie, or that Gary Oldman allegedly assaulted his ex-wife. On Sunday night, actress Ally Sheedy logged on to Twitter with her receipts on hand, ready to call out the hypocrisy of a progressive awards show in which black tuxedoed alleged predators are able to hide in plain sight. At the beginning of the broadcast, the Breakfast Club actress tweeted, “Why is a man hosting? Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much. Nite love ya.” An hour later, she wrote, “Ok wait. Bye. Christian Slater and James Franco at a table on @goldenglobes #MeToo” followed by, “James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.” (Sheedy has since deleted the tweets, and has not responded to requests for comment.)
Earlier in the day, the actress retweeted a thread by Dylan Farrow, in which Farrow wondered if the Golden Globes would continue to honor accused abusers like Woody Allen. Farrow cited the open letter she wrote “detailing the abuse I sustained at the hands of Woody Allen,” continuing, “No predator should be spared by virtue of their ‘talent’ or ‘creativity’ or ‘genius.’ No rock should be left unturned. The principles of the movement need to be applied consistently and without exemption. I will be watching tonight with a very different feeling than I had at this time four years ago. I will watch with optimism, with hope, and with the firm belief that there is a brighter future ahead. And I will watch to see if now, finally, time is up for my predator too.”
Slater, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in a television series, was charged with one count of battery in 1997 for assaulting his girlfriend. In 2005 he was charged with third-degree sexual abuse, although the allegation was later dropped. When asked about his checkered past last year, Slater told The Daily Beast that, “I regret nothing.” When The Daily Beast asked Slater if he’d like a chance to clarify his comments, he erupted, “What a salacious cunt this guy is!”
James Franco was far more visible than Slater during the 2018 Golden Globes, taking home his first ever win for The Disaster Artist. While Franco’s decision to cut off his film’s inspiration Tommy Wiseau after bringing him on stage rubbed some people the wrong way, Sheedy’s tweet displays a deeper level of discomfort.
In 2014, Franco came under fire after leaked messages showed him attempting to pick up a 17-year-old on Instagram. The Deuce actor messaged the fan repeatedly, asking her if she was single and trying to meet up with her even after she disclosed that she wasn’t 18. Still, Sheedy may be alluding to something more personal, since she worked with Franco herself on the 2014 off-Broadway production of The Long Shrift. While the actress hasn’t gone into details, the fact that a woman who collaborated with Franco just a few years ago is criticizing the industry for celebrating him and tagging #MeToo in her post speaks volumes. With all the hard work that female actresses and activists put into making the Golden Globes actually mean something this year, it’s insulting that those women had to sit next to accused abusers like Oldman and Slater—and sadly inevitable that misconduct stories will continue to surface in the coming days and months.