Reese Witherspoon Security Man Stopping Canadian Diplomat from taking a Photo of his Ambassador Marc-Andre Blanchard During the 2018 Observance of International Womens Day at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
by Kurt Wheelock
When Reese Witherspoon came to the United Nations on March 12, the organization UN Women used her appearance to attach itself to the #MeToo and #TimeIsNow movements. But Witherspoon’s security man, ever present during her time in the UN General Assembly Hall, was seen holding a diplomat back from approaching the actress. It was Canada’s Ambassador Marc-André Blanchard, the representative at the UN of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who, being both more Hollywood and more recognizable, probably would have received different treatment.
UN Women is indicative of what today’s UN has become: less focused on actually getting work down for the women, mostly lower income, who suffer the harassment then on cavorting with stars. The stars also benefit from association with the UN. But what about the public?
Recently UN Women’s executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, in the midst of the exposure of male sexual harassers in and out of the UN, instead devoted an interview with the state media of her home country, South Africa, to discussing the politics of the African National Congress and her role in them. That is also indicative of the UN, that high level officials use their positions with the world body to opine about and try to get back into their national politic. But again, what about the public?
The theme of this year’s Commission on the Status of Women meeting, which Witherspoon attended, is “Time is Now: Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives.” In a statement, Mlambo-Ngcuka said, “What we are about today is bringing everybody in one room, take Hollywood to the farmland and farmland to Hollywood because this struggle is universal. Women and girls in rural areas, indigenous women, human rights defenders who have fought and even lost their lives protecting their land, need to be supported but their struggled need to be celebrated and made visible. Rural women must not be invisible.”
And then Witherspoon’s security detail pushed a Canadian UN Diplomat.
Witherspoon herself said, “We’re talking about globally, how can we affect change by creating safer work environments and having the companies we work for and the governments that represent us understand that we are not going away and we’re not going to be quiet, we want to see ourselves represented 50-50 as soon as possible, as soon as we can make that possible because women are 50 percent of the population, we deserve 50% of the representation.”
Maybe that’s she her detail pushed the Canadian Ambassador. #TimeIsNow.