Hollywood has long portrayed itself as a bastion of social conscience, empathy, and humanity.
In 2017, the glittery facade of this icon of cinematic storytelling started to crumble. For the first time ever, Hollywood was forced to look inward, to address the injustice and discrimination running rampant behind the scenes.
Following the revelations exposed over the last 12 months, it came as no surprise that the 2018 Golden Globes felt as much like a political event as an awards ceremony. Most guests wore black in support of the #MeToo movement, which has served to highlight the claims of sexual abuse by prominent figures not just in Hollywood, but in every industry across the world.
The movement was triggered by a groundbreaking report in The New York Times that revealed how famed executive producer Harvey Weinstein had systematically abused and extorted women for decades.
Written by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, the piece set the stage for a revolution. A revolution in which victims felt not just supported, but encouraged to reveal the extent of their trauma to bring those responsible to justice. Such actions will play a crucial element in restructuring Hollywood around equality, openness, and respect.
During the coverage of The Golden Globes, the Times made a point of reaffirming their role in this revolution in a new ad spot that marks the latest iteration of their The Truth is Hard campaign, created by Droga5 New York.
Having already been watched 7.5 million times on Youtube, the simple spot features only text and minimal sound, but is an excellent message about the importance of investigative reporting, and a subtle reminder that such efforts as those by Kantor and Twohey are not possible without the support of subscribers and readers alike.
Opening with a back-and-forth of “He said”, “She said” before the screen starts to fill solely with “She said”, it culminates with a poignant message.
“The truth has power. The truth will not be threatened. The truth has a voice.”
“We thought that using language that has been used to silence women in the past and turning it on its head was a simple way to show the clear distinction between the way the world was merely a year ago and the way it is now”, Droga5 Assistant Creative Director Julie Matheny told AdAge.
Indeed, a lot has changed over the last year. Yet there is much more that needs to be done to ensure true Change is made. To do so will take courage. It will take perseverance. And it will take high-quality investigative journalism.