During an interview with ABC’s Laura Spencer on the Golden Globes red carpet early Sunday evening, actor David Harbour (best known as the sheriff on Stranger Things) was asked what “Time’s Up” meant to him. Though he may not have known it at the time, his response was a perfect distillation of the collective male attitude at last night’s big event: woefully unprepared, and totally unbothered by it.
“Real quick,” Spencer said to Harbour, dressed in all black and a Time’s Up pin on his lapel. “Time’s Up on blank.”
“Uhhhh,” Harbour said. “I mean. Time’s Up on, umm...”
Desperate for him replace his uhhh’s and ummm’s with actual words, Spencer threw Harbour a bone and offered up a few low-level thought starters. “Sexual harassment?” she suggested. “Predators? Gender inequality?” All good options for things Time’s Up applies to!
“Yeah,” Harbour said. “And like, women not getting the respect that they deserve in the workplace. I think Time’s Up on women not getting the respect that they deserve in the workplace.”
While it’s frankly idiotic that Harbour hadn’t planned to be asked about the cause he literally draped himself in, his ultimate response would have been embarrassing and insufficient even if it hadn’t taken several millennia to escape his mouth. Despite Spencer’s generous multiple choice offerings, Harbor flat-out refused to acknowledge the most urgent stated purpose of his cute little accessory (sexual assault and harassment of women in Hollywood) and defined Time’s Up as about something broader and less unpleasant. Should women “get the respect they deserve in the workplace”? Absolutely. But Time’s Up about so much more than that.
Their painful interaction proved a a telling prologue for the evening, during which Red Carpet king Ryan Seacrest treated Time’s Up flippantly while interviewing attendees, an objectively powerful white man in Hollywood refused to acknowledge his own privilege by claiming he was in no way powerful at all, and not a single male winner (there were plenty, by the way) mentioned either Time’s Up or #MeToo during their acceptance speeches.
Last night a sea of men in black blinded themselves from the nasty truths about their brothers and either passed the blame onto someone else or ignored the subject of sexual misconduct entirely. They thought being a silent ally would be more than enough in this era where women are doing so much talking that they barely have time to take a breath. How many times must these men be reminded that #MeToo isn’t about the women? When will they finally figure out that it’s about them?