By Jill Serjeant

 

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Golden Globes kicked off Hollywood's countdown to the Oscars on Sunday with the normally colorful red carpet transformed into a sea of black gowns as stars showed solidarity with victims of sexual harassment after a scandal that has roiled show business.

 

Emma Stone, Amy Poehler, Jessica Biel, Kerry Washington, Christina Hendricks, Octavia Spencer, Jessica Chastain, Laura Dern and Claire Foy were among early arrivals who wore black for the Beverly Hills ceremony.

 

They were showing support for the Time's Up Campaign, launched earlier this week, to fight sexual harassment in the workplace.

 

Dern brought Monica Ramirez, president of the National Farmworker Women's Alliance (Alianza Nacional De Campesinas), which is part of the Time's Up alliance, as her Golden Globes date.

 

Men also showed their support, with the likes of Justin Timberlake and Ricky Martin wearing black shirts to match their tuxedos.

Multiple allegations against actors, filmmakers and Hollywood agents since October 2017 have led to many of the accused being fired, forced to step down, or dropped from creative projects. Some of the A-list stars attending the Globes ceremony have given their own harrowing accounts.

First-time Globes host Seth Meyers has said he will address the sexual misconduct issue, but acknowledges that delivering jokes on the issue to Hollywood's A-list talent will prove a challenge.

"Fingers crossed we meet the right tone, but that's certainly our goal," Meyers said ahead of the three-hour show. "I'm looking forward to seeing what people do as much as you are."

When it comes to the awards, the race is wide open.

Magical love story "The Shape of Water" goes into the ceremony with a leading seven nominations, including best movie drama. It is followed by Steven Spielberg's passionate ode to press freedom "The Post," and dark indie comedy "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri" with six apiece. All three movies are from the Twentieth Century Fox stable of studios.

The Golden Globes had a separate category for comedies or musicals, where indie studio A24's mother-daughter film "Lady Bird" and its James Franco cult movie tribute "The Disaster Artist" are the likely frontrunners for the statuette.

All eyes will also be Sony Pictures' thriller "All the Money in the World," which won three nominations after being hastily reshot with Christopher Plummer following accusations of sexual impropriety against its original star, Kevin Spacey.

Spacey apologized for the first reported incident. Reuters is unable to verify any of the allegations.

(Additional reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy and Nichola Groom; Editing by Sandra Maler)