Fashion

Wait, will celebrities wear black on the Oscars red carpet?

The Academy reportedly wants this to be a “fun” ceremony focused on “films, not the cultural moment around them”.

By Emma Dibdin

The Golden Globes, always unofficially regarded as the start of awards season, took on an extra significance this year as the first major awards show to take place in the wake of Hollywood's sexual misconduct revolution. Following the flood of allegations against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, James Toback, Brett Ratner and a number of other powerful men in the industry, women in Hollywood responded by forming the Time's Up initiative, to stand in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment and assault, and provide funds for their legal aid. At the Globes, celebrities overwhelmingly showed their support for Time's Up by wearing black, and the same held true at last weekend's British Academy Film Awards in London. With the Oscars now less than two weeks away, many are wondering whether Time's Up will have the same impact on the dress code of Hollywood's biggest night.

The answer to that question is complicated, reports The New York Times. The Academy is keen to keep the focus of the Oscars on "films, not the cultural moment around them," emphasising the significance of this as a milestone year for the awards (it's their 90th anniversary) rather than for the industry.

"We want to make it as entertaining as possible — reverential and respectful but also fun and emotional," Jennifer Todd, one of the awards' producers, told The Times. "The Oscars should be a spectacle. Fun and funny and great performances."

Whole cast of women from Big Little Lies, Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley all wore black to support #TimesUp at the Golden Globes.
Whole cast of women from Big Little Lies, Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman, Zoe Kravitz, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley all wore black to support #TimesUp at the Golden Globes.

Two people involved with the Time's Up campaign anonymously told The Times a decision had been made not to ask Oscar attendees to wear black to the ceremony, although a Time's Up pin "would be appreciated." There has also been no coordinated effort for celebrities to bring activists as guests to the Oscars, as there was at the Globes. But the Time's Up campaign is apparently in ongoing discussions with the Academy about having an in-show presence at the Oscars, so don't rule out a tribute of some kind amidst all the speeches, montages and musical numbers.

Channing Dungey, the president of entertainment at ABC (which will air this year's ceremony) had this to say:

Activist Tarana Burke, actors Michelle Williams, America Ferrera, Jessica Chastain, Amy Poehler, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman, activists Ai-jen Poo, and Saru Jayaraman attend the 19th Annual Post-Golden Globes Party.
Activist Tarana Burke, actors Michelle Williams, America Ferrera, Jessica Chastain, Amy Poehler, Meryl Streep, Kerry Washington, Natalie Portman, activists Ai-jen Poo, and Saru Jayaraman attend the 19th Annual Post-Golden Globes Party.

Which essentially means it'll be up to the individual celebrities to decide how much, or how little, to acknowledge Time's Up. Todd emphasized nobody is being discouraged from getting political in their speeches. "Who am I to say what they should and should not get to say? As a producer of the show, your only hope is that the speeches are emotional and really excite the room and aren't read off a piece of paper."

In related news, Casey Affleck announced last month that he will not present this year's Best Actress award, which traditionally he would as last year's Best Actor winner. In light of the sexual harassment allegations against Affleck which emerged prior to last year's ceremony, his involvement would have been controversial. Per Deadline, Affleck withdrew because he "did not want to become a distraction from the focus that should be on the performances of the actresses in the category." In 2010, two women who worked on Affleck's film I'm Still Here filed sexual harassment lawsuits against him; both cases were settled out of court and he has repeatedly denied the allegations.

SOURCE: Cosmopolitan US