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Why Time's Up Abandoned The All-Black Dress Code For The Oscars

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While the all-black dress code adopted by actresses at events like the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs as a means of protesting sexual harassment in Hollywood and supporting the Time’s Up movement has dominated the awards season narrative this year, things were different at the 90th Academy Awards. Instead of continuing the theme, female attendees dressed in a rainbow of colours, from Best Director nominee Greta Gerwig’s sunshine yellow dress to Best Supporting Actress winner Allison Janney’s scarlet Reem Acra to Zendaya’s Grecian gown in deepest burgundy.

Ahead of the ceremony, an Instagram post from the organisation’s official account confirmed that Time’s Up would be moving away from the black dress code for the Oscars, explaining that ‘tonight, our sisters will be wearing a festive array of colours and Time’s Up pins representing this vast movement of women everywhere’ before going on to encourage followers to share their own photos ‘in full spirit and colour.’

Several days before the event, a handful of Time’s Up members including A Wrinkle In Time director Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes, Tessa Thompson and Laura Dern met with media to discuss what the campaign has achieved so far, and explained that the movement is not confined to the red carpet, and thus no longer needs to be associated with a particular dress code.

‘We are not an awards show protest group,’ DuVernay explained, ‘so we stand down this time.’

‘I think there’s really something about the narrative of Time’s Up that was really important that this not be just capturing the awards show spotlight. It’ll happen again, but not this time,’ she said.

‘It’s really important that you know that Time’s Up is not about the red carpet,’ affirmed Rhimes. ‘And those women who you saw on the red carpet representing Time’s Up [at the Golden Globes] are now off the red carpet working their butts off being activists.'

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