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Why Stars Won't Be Wearing Black Gowns to the Oscars

The Time’s Up movement was always meant to live beyond award season. Though attendees of the Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards chose to wear black gowns to show solidarity with the initiative to fight sexual harassment, Time’s Up organizers have confirmed that stars will not be expected to stick to a particular dress code for the Oscars. The announcement was made just days before the big show.

In an intimate press conference, organizers, including Shonda Rhimes, Laura Dern, and Ava DuVernay, detailed how the movement will exist beyond award season. According to The Telegraph, Rhimes said Time’s Up “was launched on the red carpet, but was never intended to live there.” For that reason, they have not encouraged actors to wear black.

Me Too founder Tarana Burke also agrees with the decision. At the Essence Black Women in Hollywood luncheon, Burke said:

“What happened at the Golden Globes was a unique action to an issue that affects people from around the world. It’s not a gimmick. We have real work to do, making sure survivors have what they need to have to heal. Whether they do something for the Oscars or not doesn’t matter to me.”

That being said, the movement will certainly be a topic of conversation on Sunday night, with prominent supporters and organizers not only attending but also presenting. It’s also very likely that stars will find other creative ways to show support in their style choices. The SAG Awards red carpet, for example, featured a rainbow of dresses, yet most stars did wear Time’s Up pins, and at the Grammys, people carried or wore white roses.

Though the black dress code previously made a powerful, and visually striking, statement, it’s clear that Time’s Up will make its messaging heard in other ways. Since its launch in January, the initiative has already raised a $21 million legal defense fund for victims.

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