On 13 January 2017, Facebook user Jason Ink posted an image of a woman in a revealing dress along with a message stating: “Hollywood in their march against sexual harassment lol”:
The post left viewers with two questions: Was this picture photoshopped? What does it have to do with Hollywood or sexual harassment?
This is a genuine photograph of Italian model Giulia Salemi. This particular image was taken by Pacific Coast News. Photography agencies such as Getty Images also have several other images of Salemi in this revealing outfit.
Although this photograph is real, the accompanying caption on Facebook is misleading at best. Ink’s post appears to be commenting on #MeToo, a viral movement that spread in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal in November 2017 as hundreds of women’s reported that they had also been victims of sexual assault. More specifically, the post seems to be addressing the 2018 Golden Globes (it was posted a few days after the award ceremony) which featured Hollywood celebrities protesting sexual harassment by wearing black dresses, “Time’s Up” pins, and delivering acceptance speeches about equality.
However, Salemi is not a Hollywood actress and this photograph was taken long before the industry started “marching” against sexual harassment. This image was captured in Italy, not the United States, at the 73rd Venice Film Festival on 3 September 2016. And although this picture was taken at a film festival, Salemi is an Italian model who doesn’t have any Hollywood credits to her name.
Regardless of where and when this photograph was taken or who was wearing this so-called scandalous dress, this photograph does not contradict the anti-harassment message sent by the #MeToo or Time’s Up campaigns. Although some still argue that provocative attire invites harassment, proponents of these movements have denounced this type of thinking as victim blaming and slut shaming.