Dave Grohl, a founding father of the grunge movement, is at the forefront of another trend: he’s among the first celebrities to wear the “white knot” signifying support of same-sex marriage.
The former Nirvana drummer pinned the latest cause symbol on his lapel as he attended the MusiCares benefit and the Grammys over the weekend – a move that same-sex marriage supporters hope will unleash a wave of white knots on the red carpet come Oscar night.
“I believe in love and I believe in equality and I believe in marriage equality,” the Foo Fighter frontman declared.
Grohl, who took his pregnant wife, Jordyn Blum, to the Grammys, wasn’t the only celebrity wearing a white knot: former Eurythmics star Dave Stewart also sported one.
Red AIDS awareness ribbons debuted in the early 1990s and quickly became an icon of the fight against HIV. The symbol’s popularity, though, spurred a flood of celebrity-backed “cause” ribbons of various colors -- and later wristbands -- leaving most folks needing a scorecard to tell one from another.
Adding yet another emblem to the mix runs the risk of diluting the message. But there’s something simple and elegant about the white knot, which, its creators note, combines two traditional symbols of marriage: white and tying the knot.
Since the passage in November of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, forces on both sides of the issue have become only more polarized. Celebrities, who often get criticized for using red carpets and awards podiums as a political bully pulpits, have been among those speaking out against the ban.
But many in the entertainment industry and other same-sex marriage supporters are wisely channeling their outrage into creativity. First there was the hilarious, star-studded “Prop 8 -- The Musical” video. Now the white knot is shaping up as another imaginative stroke that could help get the same-sex marriage push more visibility.
So there’s another thing to watch for on Oscar Night: Will the white knot be a red carpet winner? Stay tuned.
Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is the former City Editor of the New York Daily News, where he started as a reporter in 1992.