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Following the cultural awakening in Hollywood over sexual harassment and gender inequality, industry insiders are trying to figure out how best to acknowledge the #MeToo movement during awards season in 2018.
Sources say that at the Golden Globes on Jan. 7, actresses, including nominees and presenters, are planning to wear black to protest gender inequality and to acknowledge the flood of sexual abuse allegations that have rocked Hollywood beginning with Harvey Weinstein. This follows on the heels of the announcement Wednesday that all the presenters at the Jan. 21 Screen Actors Guild Awards will be female.
In a recent meeting at CAA about how to achieve gender equality in the industry (the agency is also taking the 50/50 by 2020 pledge), there was talk of a new protocol for the red carpet, one of the biggest platforms for women in Hollywood. “There was discussion of crafting some sort of talking points,” said a source.
When it comes to improving the quality of dialogue on the red carpet beyond just “What are you wearing?” documentary filmmaker Jennifer Siebel Newsom, founder and CEO of The Representation Project, thinks her 2014 campaign urging red carpet reporters to #AskHerMore is more relevant now than ever.
“AskHerMore is fundamentally about treating women as full human beings rather than objects. And I think #MeToo is about the same thing,” she says. “I hope red carpet interviewers ask about the power the media has to make a difference in the world, how those involved in creating it can set a better example and the importance of broadening who gets to have a say in creating that media. For instance, the Golden Globes nominated five white men in the director category. White men are not the only people making good films. They are just the ones being recognized. Let’s talk about that on the red carpet.”
But not at the expense of talking about gorgeous gowns, Newsom adds. “The campaign is #AskHerMore, not #DontAskHer. Fashion does not diminish women; our culture diminishes women. But we cannot focus solely on fashion and these women’s appearances over everything else. We need a balance.”
A version of this story first appeared in the Dec. 18 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
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