The symbolism of black attire and Oprah
The awards show was different this year for three reasons. Almost all of the attendees wore black outfits in some fashion; and the winner of the Cecile B DeMille award, Oprah Winfrey, gave a speech that has, for all intents and purposes, have her running for president — whether she likes it or not. The third difference was that former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was not there. The black dress/outfit movement, paired with the hashtag #TimesUp, was about supporting women who have been sexually harassed or abused by men like Weinstein. And bringing awareness to the problem globally, not just in Hollywood. I wrote about it here.
The black dress movement was, in my opinion, a success. Visually, it was beautiful and meaningful. And the Red Carpet discussions were not about “who are you wearing,” but about substantive subjects. Many of the actors brought activist guests, women in other fields, to make the point that this is not just a Hollywood problem.
Oprah’s speech was indeed extremely moving, a rallying cry for change and hopeful for success. But I don’t think it was a “campaign speech” as some are suggesting. At the moment in time she spoke, there is a desire on the part of many Americans for honesty, integrity, real passion and equality. Her words and how she delivered them spoke beautifully to that desire.
Below are my drawings from the night, live from my studio. A follower said that because all the outfits in my drawings were black, it brought more attention to the faces of the people. Isn’t that really what we all want, to be listened to and to truly see each other?