Issues that might take center stage this award show season

Inequality in Hollywood will be a main topic of discussion.

If 2017 taught us anything, it’s that Hollywood’s stars aren’t ones for keeping quiet about their political opinions.

Last year’s award season kicked off right after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, leaving politics a natural subject of interest. Julia Louis-Dreyfus dedicated her best performance by an actress in a comedy series win at the Screen Actors Guild awards in January to the refugee crisis; Meryl Streep used her Cecil B. DeMille lifetime achievement award speech at the Golden Globes to discuss the role of the press and Hollywood within the Trump administration; “Loving” actress Ruth Negga and several other celebs donned blue ribbons in solidarity with the American Civil Liberties Union at the Oscars and Emmys, and so on.

Nearly 365 days later, the nation’s top actors, actresses, musicians and more have their activist hats planted firmly on their heads, ready to enter the 2018 award season with force.

These are the five political and social issues that might take center stage at the Golden Globes, Oscars and more this year.

Gender inequality in Hollywood

Celebrities, both male and female, are reportedly planning to wear all black on the Golden Globes red carpet Sunday to draw attention to the gender barriers in the industry. Celebrity stylist Ilaria Urbinati confirmed via Instagram that the men she represents will be participating to “stand in solidarity with women on this wearing-all-black movement to protest gender inequality.” In the past, Urbinati has worked with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Tom Hiddleston. With the Globes being among the first ceremonies of 2018, red carpets might stay dark through the rest of the season.

Sexual harassment: #MeToo and #TimesUp

Hundreds of prominent actresses, actors, directors, writers and more in the industry came together to start the new year with a new movement: #TimesUp. Rooted in continuing to shed light on and bring aid to those who have been victims of sexual abuse in Hollywood, the movement was announced on Jan. 1 via an advertisement in The New York Times. Given that the letter is backed by Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, Shonda Rhimes, Eva Longoria and countless other Hollywood women, it’s incredibly likely that the initiative be mentioned during nomination and acceptance speeches.

The Trump administration

Hollywood’s A-listers focused heavily on the president, his Twitter account and political decisions throughout his first year in office. There’s no sign of that slowing down anytime soon. Aside from the president being the target of several opening monologue jokes, the award show attendees may choose to tackle Trump’s recent tax overhaul as well.

Gun violence

Months ago, gun reform was the topic of discussion at the November 2017 Country Music Awards. The call for gun control was rooted in the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting that left 58 people dead and 546 injured. With the nation still divided on its opinion on the topic, celebrities with ties close to the issue may choose to rally for their stance in their acceptance speeches.


According to The New York Times, any “window” for legislative action to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy will close by the middle of January. Though the Trump administration announced plans to end the program in September 2017 with a six-month delay, the topic has remained one of discussion. The president himself tweeted about DACA as recently as Jan. 3 (“Democrats are doing nothing for DACA …”), sparking an opposing response from Lin-Manuel Miranda and others.

Meghan Giannotta