The question everyone is asking, “Should Meher Tatna have worn Red to the Golden Globe Awards ceremony?
The last year has seen phenomenal movements in the fight against sexual harassment and gender inequality. Many actresses and female members of the media made public statements of their personal struggles with both harassment and abuse – sparking the #MeToo movement. Time magazine even chose to award Person of the Year to the ‘The Silence Breakers’ instead of just one person in 2017.
In an effort to keep the conversations going and the movement strong, some of Hollywood’s leading ladies came together to create the TIMES UP campaign. With a mission to “addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential.”
In a silent protest, and as a symbol of solidarity for the TIMES UP movement almost all the women attending the Golden Globes came wearing black. One woman who didn’t was Meher Tatna, a journalist of Indian President of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. As an Indian woman who works in digital media, I’m so proud to see an Indian woman in this role, because as Oprah so poignantly reminded us in her epic speech last night – representation matters. If young girls see other Indian/South Asian women in these roles, they can aspire to the same.
Unfortunately, I lost respect for Meher Tatna last night, when she chose to overlook the black dress code of sisterhood and chose to wear red. Putting aside for a minute that wearing red on a red carpet is kind of a faux pas in itself, when Tatna was questioned about wearing red she said; “It’s a cultural thing.” The Indian journalist explained to Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet, her conscious decision to wear a brightly colored gown and overcoat on an otherwise somber red carpet. “When you have a celebration, you don’t wear black.”
First and foremost, not wearing black to celebration is a superstition, not a cultural norm. It’s completely inappropriate for her to give a statement like this that will be labelled expert commentary about India for years. And even if, for a moment I try understand her belief in superstition, it doesn’t trump solidarity.
The India I relate to is about sisterhood. It’s about standing up for what’s right and fighting for our rights. I really wish she had not put a lens of superstition over human rights on all Indian women with her statements.
In closing, if Ms. Meher Tatna ever reads this post, I would want her to know; just like Oprah said her speech, little girls are watching you, and looking up to. I know this, because when I was a little girl who wanted more than anything to be a magazine editor, or actress, or broadcaster, there were no Indian women in those places in North America for me to aspire to or relate too. You have a responsibility to our daughters. I hope that you will show them in the future that you stand for ethics, humanity, and sisterhood first – because that is what being a modern progressive Indian woman is.
What do you think, should Meher Tatna should have worn red to the Golden Globes? Leave us a comment and join the conversation.