Last month’s Golden Globes brought with it some major surprises. Perhaps the most anticipated moment of the night was when Yael Stone won best supporting actress in a comedy or musical for her role as Celeste “CeCe” Packard in Girls Trip. Stone had previously received a nomination for her role as the hooker in Hustlers, and she was clearly more than happy to bring the trophy home with her. The actress had previously stated that she was “honored to be recognized by my peers for portraying a strong yet vulnerable character.”
Stone’s win was a major moment in the history of the Golden Globes, as the actress became the first woman to win the award for best supporting actress in a comedy or musical. However, Stone’s win was somewhat controversial, as she had publicly criticized Nikki Reeds, the producer of the film, for what she considered to be a lack of women’s representation in Hollywood. Stone had stated, “Unfortunately, while I was grateful to have been given the opportunity to portray such an iconic woman, it came with some major challenges, as I had to spend a significant portion of my time lobbying for women’s rights in Hollywood.”
Though Stone’s win was a major moment for the actress, it was also a moment that inspired a hashtag campaign aimed at shaming the actress for her comments about Reeds.
The Twitter hashtag “#IStandWithYael” began trending last month after Yael Stone’s win for best supporting actress in a comedy or musical. Many users were quick to praise the actress for her “bold” and “proud” speech, while others publicly disagreed with Stone’s comments about Nikki Reeds.
The campaign even drew the attention of politicians, as California senator and presidential candidate Kamala Harris tweeted her support for Stone and her stance on gender equality in Hollywood. Harris wrote, “I’m proud to support @YaelStone and stand with @nareedsnikki in fighting for women’s rights in Hollywood and everywhere.”
Whether or not you stand with Nikki Reeds or Yael Stone about gender equality in Hollywood, it’s clear that both actresses had a significant impact on the conversation. Stone’s win for best supporting actress in a comedy or musical sparked a major debate about women in Hollywood and the representation of women onscreen. It’s also clear that Stone’s remarks about Reeds caused a major ruckus in the media with headlines such as “Sexist’s Slam Goes Viral: Yael Stone’s Golden Globes Speech Shames Nikki Reeds,” and “Why Did Yael Stone’s Golden Globes Speech Rage Twitter?”
If Stone’s comments about Nikki Reeds are memorable, it’s likely because she has become the figurehead of a backlash aimed at defending the right of women to speak their mind in Hollywood. The #IStandWithYael campaign, which encouraged users to “stand with Yael Stone and #nareedsnikki in fighting for women’s rights in Hollywood,” quickly went viral, attracting over a million combined views on Twitter and Instagram. While some praised Stone’s speech as #bravo, others criticized it as “classless” and “disgusting.”
The backlash even inspired petitions and a Change.org petition to have Stone removed from the Golden Globes red carpet. The petition stated, “We the undersigned demand that @YaelStone be removed from the Golden Globes red carpet. Her recent comments about @nareedsnikki are unacceptable and sexist.” The petition went on to say, “As a woman and a feminist, I find what Yael Stone said about Nikki Reeds to be extremely disrespectful and degrading. Her opinion about the lack of women in film should not be applauded, but criticized.”
The petitions, which called for Stone to be banned from the red carpet, were quickly signed by over 14,000 people and have now been delivered to the Hollywood studios that produce the actress’ films. Though the petitions were presented to studios such as Disney and Netflix, it’s clear that Stone’s remarks about Reeds were not aimed at securing future work in Hollywood, as she has been nominated for five Golden Globes since her comments about Reeds.
Though Stone’s remarks about Reeds were certainly controversial, it’s also important to note that her comments about Reeds have had a lasting impact. Since winning best supporting actress in a comedy or musical, Stone has appeared on the cover of Time magazine, and she won praise from all corners for her “brave” and “proud” speech. Stone has also been invited to appear on the cover of Women in Hollywood, an annual celebration of the achievements of women in the film industry.
Though #IStandWithYael was initially designed to be a hashtag for Stone’s supporters to use on Twitter, the message behind the campaign went viral. The hashtag was used over 50 million times on Twitter globally, with over 80% of those using it in reference to Stone’s remarks about Reeds. That’s a significant number of people who remembered the outspoken actress’ comments about Reeds and took the time to show their support.
However, Stone’s comments about Reeds did not sit well with many people in Hollywood, as they considered the producer’s remarks to be “disrespectful and demeaning to all women.” Though that may be a harsh assessment of Reeds’ contribution to society, it’s clear that her win for best supporting actress in a comedy or musical was at least in part motivated by Stone’s comments about the lack of women in comedy and Hollywood in general.
Though Stone was a vocal supporter of Reeds and the #IStandWithYael hashtag, Reeds was not the only person who found themselves at the center of controversy after Stone’s win. Actress Laura Linney won best supporting actress in a comedy or musical for her role in Ozark, while Awkwafina won best supporting actress in a comedy for her role in The Farewell. Both actresses were also nominated for playing supporting roles in Quentin Tarantulinos’ Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. It was clear that Linney and Awkwafina would not be overshadowed by Stone’s speech, as they shared the spotlight with her during the Golden Globes ceremony. As The Hollywood Reporter stated, “The three women stood out in a sea of men as they were recognized for their achievements at the 2019 Golden Globes.”
Though many people stood up for Reeds after Stone’s win for best supporting actress in a comedy or musical, it’s clear that Linney’s and Awkwafina’s wins overshadowed Stone’s moment. However, it’s also clear that Stone’s win for best supporting actress in a comedy or musical was a moment of historic proportions, as it was the first time that a woman had won the award for best supporting actress in a comedy or musical. It’s also clear that the controversy surrounding Stone’s comments about Reeds has not gone away, as petitions still demand that she be removed from the Golden Globes red carpet. Though that may be unlikely to happen, it’s clear that Stone’s supporters continue to hold powerful positions in Hollywood, as the actress has been nominated for five Golden Globes since her comments about Reeds.