Oscars Devotes Segment to Voices of #MeToo, Time's Up Movements
Hollywood's biggest night took time to deliver a timely message and celebrate diversity in filmmaking.
When Jimmy Kimmel kicked off this year's Oscars, he promised a "night of positivity" during his opening monologue. During the third act of Sunday night's show, that promise materialized when the Film Academy devoted a segment to honoring the #MeToo and Time's Up movements and highlighted the diversity in moviemaking over the last year.
Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra — three women who publicly accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct — took the stage together to introduce the segment.
"Many spoke their truth and the journey ahead is long, but slowly a new path has emerged," said Judd, referencing the women and men who have come forward to advocate #MeToo and Time's Up. Those voices have joined together to create a "mighty chorus," she added. The actress shared a hope that the next 90 years of the Academy Awards will "empower these limitless possibilities of equality, diversity inclusivity, intersectionality — that's what this year has promised us."
Hayek then introduced a pre-taped segment highlighting some of this year's most diverse and ground-breaking filmmakers — from Greta Gerwig and Dee Rees to Ava DuVernay and Kumail Nanjiani — whom she referred to as "unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through bias perceptions against their gender racer and ethnicity to tell their stories."
One of the next set of awards of the night went to Get Out's Jordan Peele for best original screenplay. He also was the fifth African-American to be nominated for best director. When Emma Stone introduced the best director category, she called out "these four men and Greta Gerwig." The Oscar went to Guillermo del Toro, marking the fourth time in five years that the winner in the category was a Mexican filmmaker.
After first explaining why the Oscar statuette is a respected man in Hollywood ("He keeps his hands where he can see them, never says a rude word and most importantly, no penis at all," joked Kimmel), the returning host opened Sunday's show by riffing about how clueless Hollywood is ("We made a movie called What Women Want, and it starred Mel Gibson") and pointing out that the disgraced Hollywood mogul Weinstein is only one of two people to ever be dispelled from the Academy's ranks — the other was for sharing movie screeners.
Then Kimmel got serious, somewhat: "We need to set an example and if we can work together here to stop sexual harassment in the workplace, women will only have to deal with harassment all the time, at every other place they go."
Perhaps speaking to critics of Hollywood award shows who believe they have grown "too political," the host explained that this year's ceremony would include brave and outspoken voices of the #MeToo, Time's Up and #NeverAgain movements in hopes of spurring positive change. "This is a night for positivity," Kimmel declared before rattling off all the names of nominees who had the potential to break or set new records if they were to win.
The 90th Annual Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood and aired live on ABC.