Oscars: Jennifer Lawrence, Jodie Foster Replace Casey Affleck as Best Actress Presenters
Traditionally, the best actor and actress winners from the year prior return to hand out the opposite trophies on Oscar night.
Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster answered one of the night's burning questions when the pair took the Oscar stage on Sunday to present the award for best actress, stepping in for last year's best actor winner Casey Affleck.
"It's a new day in Hollywood with new challenges ahead for all of us, but none of us will ever forget who came before us — those who blazed a trail for my generation and those to come," said Lawrence, who then thanked Foster, who was on critches, for giving her one of her first jobs, at 19 (in Foster's The Beaver).
The nominees included Sally Hawkins (The Shape of Water), Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri), Margot Robbie (I, Tonya), Saoirse Ronan (Lady Bird) and Meryl Streep (The Post).
The Oscar went to McDormand, who asked all women nominees of every category to stand with her during a rousing acceptance speech. The moment earned a standing ovation. "Look around, because we all have stories to tell and projects that need financing," she said. She then ended with two words: "Inclusion rider."
Traditionally, the best acting winners return the following year to announce the category for the opposite gender. The tradition, however, is not ironclad, and Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd, who are producing this year's show, had been considering departing from tradition.
Though Affleck bowed out of the gig in January, the Academy had not announced who would be taking his place ahead of Sunday's show.
The additions of Lawrence and Foster made for an all-female lineup for the main acting categories, as Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren were on hand to present best actor. The move followed the Academy's decision to carve out a moment during the show dedicated to the Time's Up initiative and #MeToo movement.
Affleck won his best actor Oscar for his role in Manchester by the Sea. During last year's awards season, accusations of inappropriate behavior on his part on the set of 2010's I'm Still Here resurfaced. That year, two women working on the film filed civil suits against Affleck accusing him of sexual harassment. The actor denied the charges, and the suits were settled out of court and dismissed.
But amid the current climate, calls grew to have Affleck bow out of this year's show. In response to Affleck's withdrawal, an Academy spokesperson said in a statement: "We appreciate the decision to keep the focus on the show and the great work of this year."
The 90th annual Academy Awards were hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and aired on ABC.