No dress code, but plenty of references to MeToo at Oscarshere was no #MeToo or Time’s Up dress code on the Oscar red carpet. But the topic was, to no one’s surprise, a major theme of the evening — from Jimmy Kimmel’s monologue, to an emotional appearance by three Harvey Weinstein accusers, to Frances McDormand’s calling all female nominees to rise with her in unison.
Kimmel got right to it, addressing both sexual misconduct and the gender pay gap in his opening speech.
“Here’s how clueless Hollywood is about women,” Kimmel said. “We made a movie called ‘What Women Want’ and it starred Mel Gibson.”
Turning serious, Kimmel said the world was watching — and that Hollywood needed to set an example.
And then he quipped: “If we can stop sexual harassment in the workplace, women will only ever have to deal with harassment all the time, every place else they go.”
He also evoked the now-disgraced name of Harvey Weinstein, whose sexual misconduct — revealed late last year — launched the stunning reckoning that quickly spread to other areas of society. For years one of the biggest players at the Oscars, Weinstein has now been thrown out of the academy. Kimmel marveled that the only other person ever kicked out was a character actor who shared screeners.
The most emotional #MeToo moment, though, came courtesy of actresses Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek, three women who were instrumental in the unfolding Weinstein revelations. They came onstage to introduce a montage that celebrated diversity — of all kinds — in cinematic storytelling.
Said Judd, whose accusations were detailed in the very first New York Times article that broke open the Weinstein story: “The changes that we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of OUR voices, joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying, ‘Time’s Up!’”
Sciorra, who told The New Yorker magazine that Weinstein had raped her and she’d kept it secret for many years, said: “This year many spoke their truth, and the journey ahead is long. But slowly a new path has emerged.”
And Hayek, who wrote a first-person piece in the Times calling Weinstein “my monster too,” saluted “those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the ... biased perceptions against their gender, race and ethnicity to tell their stories.”
A bit later, there was Frances McDormand, setting down her best-actress statuette on the floor so she could exhort all female nominees in the theater to stand up in unison with her.