NBC's '75th Annual Golden Globe Awards' - Red Carpet Arrivals

Source: Christopher Polk/NBC / Getty

Last night at the Golden Globes, eight white actresses were joined not by their significant others, but eight significantly impactful women. Michelle Williams, Emma Watson, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, Amy Poehler, and Emma Stone were all joined by activists and advocates of all types of different causes on Sunday night. Tarana Burke, Marai Larsai, Rosa Clemente, Ai-Jen Poo, Mónica Ramírez, Calina Lawrence, Billie Jean King, and Saru Jayaraman accompanied the actresses on the red carpet to the show.

But unless you watched the pre-show coverage, you wouldn’t know that.

All 16 women released a collective statement prior to the event along with their names and causes, and some were even given a chance to speak about their causes on the red carpet. But we didn’t actually hear the activists speak during the actual award show, other than a brief shout-out from Oprah towards Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement.

We get it. Award shows are already too long as it is and no one wants to be there for longer than they have to be. But several of the aforementioned women, including Dern and Poehler, had speaking opportunities at the event. Instead of taking advantage of your 30 seconds to make the host a punchline of your joke, why not hand the mic to Saru Jayaraman to talk about her work for restaurant wage equality? Or bring Mónica Ramírez to the stage with you when you receive your award to tell her story of being a Mexican immigrant farmworker and activist?

This is the type of treatment these activists deserved.

While many of the actresses do work in the areas of racial, gender, sexuality, and climate-based justice, this was an opportunity to bring that work to the forefront of the mainstream where it belongs. If you are inviting the women who do the consistent, thankless work of influencing change in their communities, you do not tote them around like an accessory. You welcome and respect them with a public platform to speak. Activism is not a designer accessory that you rent for a night, talk about for 30 seconds on the red carpet and toss away never to be seen again.

Tarana Burke, Marai Larsai, Rosa Clemente, Ai-Jen Poo, Mónica Ramírez, Calina Lawrence, Billie Jean King, and Saru Jayaraman all deserved more than their Golden Globe dates gave them. The people they represent deserved more. If Hollywood really wants to be about it when it comes to being a catalyst in underserved communities, they need to put their money where their mouth is and lift up these women more than they did last night.