These are the inspiring activists who walked the Golden Globes red carpet

Posted by
Emily Reynolds

The theme of this year’s Golden Globes was clear. Here’s all you need to know about the real stars of the show – the activists. 

From the all-black outfits and Time’s Up pins to the powerful acceptance speeches, this year’s Golden Globes has been dominated by raising awareness of and ending abuse.

Another way this was evident this year? Celebrities turning up with activists as their dates. Here’s a low-down of who’s who. 

Tarana Burke

Tarana Burke and Michelle Williams

Best known as the 2007 founder of #MeToo, Tarana Burke accompanied Best Actress in a Drama nominee Michelle Williams. Named as one of Time Magazine’s People of the Year, Burke told Time that “we have to keep our focus on people of different class and race and gender.” 

“Sexual violence knows no race, class or gender, but the response to sexual violence absolutely does. Until we change that, any advancement that we make in addressing this issue is going to be scarred by the fact that it wasn’t across the board.”

Burke is also Senior Director at the Girls for Gender Equity in Brooklyn, which “strives to help young women of colour increase their overall development through various programs and classes.”

Billie Jean King

Emma Stone and Billie Jean King

Emma Stone’s date? Billie Jean King, who she recently portrayed in Battle of the Sexes. King has spent her career fighting for equal rights and equal pay and was the first prominent female athlete to come out as a lesbian. 

She has since been recognised by GLAAD for “furthering the visibility and inclusion of the community in her work”, and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her work advocating for the rights of women and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.

Rosa Clemente

Rosa Clemente and Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon’s date was Rosa Clemente, a community organiser and political commentator. Clemente’s work has primarily focused on “the political struggles facing Black and Latinx people in the 21st century”, including voter freedoms, the rights of political prisoners and mental illness. 

Clemente was also the vice presidential candidate for the Green Party in the 2008 US Presidential election – and along with running mate Cynthia McKinney was part of the first women of colour ticket in American history.

Marai Larasi

Marai Larasi and Emma Watson

Emma Watson’s date was Marai Larasi, a British activist and executive director of black feminist organisation Imkaan

“There’s something about women in Hollywood speaking out,” she told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet. “There is a wall of silence around violence against women and girls, and every time somebody speaks out, it just creates a bit of a crack in that wall. Women in Hollywood have an opportunity to amplify the issues and shine a light on things, and actually that’s incredibly important. And so it’s a special moment in time. It’s not the beginning of the struggle or the end of the struggle. It’s a critical moment.”

Larasi also works as co-chair for the End Violence Against Women Coalition

Saru Jayaraman

Amy Poehler and Saru Jayaraman

Saru Jayaraman accompanied Amy Poehler, previous Golden Globes host. Jayaraman is the co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. Her work focusses on raising standards for restaurant workers in the US.

Calina Lawrence

Shailene Woodley and Calina Lawrence

Little Big Lies star Shailene Woodley’s date was Calina Lawrence, an activist and enrolled member of the Suquamish Tribe. Describing herself as an “art-ivist”, Lawrence travels the country doing advocacy and activism work for indigenous people. 

“It’s an honour to stand as a representative for missing and murdered indigenous women in solidarity with the women who are empowering the Time’s Up movement and beyond,” she said on the red carpet. 

Monica Ramirez

Monica Ramirez and Laura Dern

Laura Dern’s date was Monica Ramirez, co-founder of the Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. She has also, according to Variety, “served farmworker, Latina and immigrant women as an attorney, organiser and advocate and is dedicated to ending violence against women, particularly farmworkers.”

Get a daily Stylist treat

Subscribe to our newsletter
Read our privacy policy

Ai-jen Poo

Meryl Streep and Ai-jen Poo 

Multi-award winning actress Meryl Streep brought Ai-jen Poo as her date. Poo is director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and co-director of Caring Across Generations, a coalition of advocacy organisations “working to transform the long-term care system in the US”. 

“I’m honoured to attend the Golden Globes representing the 2.5 million nannies, house cleaners and home care workers that care for our families and homes,” Poo wrote before the awards.

Images: Rex Features