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Golden Globes Preview: Tight Security and Lots of #MeToo Buzz

The weather forecast for today’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony in Beverly Hills is a picture-perfect 74 degrees, light winds, and a zero percent chance of rain — a sharp and sunny contrast to the bitter cold blanketing much of the nation. But there will still be clouds hanging over the Beverly Hilton as the #MeToo movement confronting sexual harassment hits the big-time red carpet.

The chatter in the swirl of pre-Globes parties on Saturday night was less about the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s picks for best picture and TV series and more about the upheaval in the business during the past few months. Golden Globes host Seth Meyers should have plenty of material for his opening monologue, and he’s vowed not to shy away from the industry’s recent trials.

The 6,000 or so gliterati who head to the Hilton tonight for the ceremony in the International Ballroom or the many after-parties will once again find security measures extremely tight. The stretch of Santa Monica Boulevard that runs past the Hilton’s rear entrance looked like a military cordon as of Saturday night, with traffic already shut down at Wilshire Boulevard and concrete barriers piled high. Attendees will pass through metal detectors and other screening measures, which is sure to make for long-ish lines once the red carpet begins to hum.

Many attendees are expected wear all black to the ceremony as a show of support for the women and men across the country who have faced sexual harassment and assault, including those who have recently come forward with allegations about powerful showbiz figures, from Roger Ailes and Harvey Weinstein to Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. The sartorial demonstration of solidarity was orchestrated as part of the Time’s Up legal defense fund and advocacy initiative unveiled on Monday, New Year’s Day, by a host of boldface names including Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria and Shonda Rhimes.

Reports of plans for a “march” down the red carpet were greatly exaggerated, but it should be a show of force nonetheless and a departure from the usual giddy and anything-goes atmosphere of the Globes.

Frankie Shaw, creator and star of the buzzy Showtime comedy “SMILF,” is among those opting for an ebony-hued ensemble. A double nominee for comedy series and lead comedy actress, Shaw plans to finish off her look with a pair of sneakers, just as she sported Saturday night at  Showtime’s party at Sunset Tower. Shaw, who plays a survivor of child sexual abuse on “SMILF,” described the overarching Time’s Up effort as “important.”

Meanwhile, industry insiders can’t stop talking about the mega deal that promises to re-align the power dynamic in Hollywood — Disney’s pending $52.4 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox’s assets. Who’s next is the big question on the minds of movers and shakers. There are renewed rumblings about telco giant Verizon knocking on doors for a major content acquisition, one of many M&A rumors making the rounds.

One contingent of Globes-goers who won’t be complaining about a wait outside are the East Coasters who escaped last week’s snowstorms and sub-zero wind chill factors to make the scene at the Hilton. It’s hard to get frostbite under balmy skies.

(Pictured: Seth Meyers rolls out the red carpet.)

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