The ceremony saw stars stand in unity of the Time’s up movement, a campaign against sexual harassment which was pioneered by women in Hollywood at the start of January after sexual assault allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein surfaced.
One of the more memorable moments from the ceremony was Frances McDormand calling for an “inclusion rider” as she accepted her Best Actress Oscar for her work in ‘Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri’.
When accepting her award, the 60-year-old actress used her moment in the spotlight to call upon the women in the room at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles to stand with her in support of female unity.
She said in her speech: “And now, I want to get some perspective. If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees stand with me in this room tonight. Filmmakers, producers, directors, writers, cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers, come on.”
Fellow actress Meryl Streep was encouraged to stand in support, with Frances adding: “If you do it, everybody else will.”
The room then erupted into applause, as Frances continued her speech where she instructed the stars in the room on how Hollywood can successfully combat the issue of gender inequality in the industry.
She said: “Look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.
“Don’t talk to us about it at the parties tonight. Invite us into our office in a couple of days – or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best – and we’ll tell you all about them…
“I have two words for you: Inclusion rider.”
An inclusion rider is a clause in a contract that would provide for gender and racial diversity.
‘Beauty and the Beast’ actress Emma Watson, who has been vocal throughout the movement, was pictured sporting a ‘Time’s Up’ tattoo on her forearm as she posed for the cameras ahead of Vanity Fair Oscar Party, but she has not confirmed if the inking is real or temporary.
Meanwhile, on the red carpet, stars were avoiding E! News host Ryan Seacrest amid allegations of sexual misconduct that have recently surfaced.
Ryan’s former personal stylist Suzie Hardy accused the red carpet regular of years of sexual harassment against her, including unwanted physical contact, but he was cleared of the allegations after an investigation was carried out.
A spokesperson for the network said: “E! has now concluded the investigation into allegations regarding Ryan Seacrest. The investigation, conducted by outside counsel, found insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest and therefore could not be substantiated. E! is committed to providing a safe working environment where everyone is treated with respect and dignity.”
However, whilst E! News found “insufficient evidence” to take action against the popular host, many celebrities avoided coming into contact with him during this year’s Oscar red carpet, and the network even asked NBC to delay their pre-Oscar ‘Live from the Red Carpet’ show by 30 seconds in case any of the stars confronted Ryan whilst they were live on air.
A source told Deadline about the plan the network had in place, saying: “The plan being considered is to mainly ensure plenty of time to either cut to [co-host] Guiliana [Rancic] or to pull the plug altogether unnoticed if an on-camera encounter with Ryan goes into tricky territory.”
Ryan interviewed just 21 celebrities on the red carpet this year, with only two being Oscar nominees, which is unusual for the host as he is usually a guaranteed celebrity stop at star-studded events.
‘Empire’ star Teraji P. Henson faced accusations that she snubbed Ryan during their red carpet interview.
“The universe has a way of taking care of taking care of good people, you know what I mean?” she said, touching the host’s chin which viewers argued was a patronising move on her part.
Ryan later posted a picture of him interviewing the star on his Instagram page with the caption: “nothing but love for my friend @tarajiphenson. Thanks for hanging out with us on the #ERedCarpet! #Oscars”.
Taraji denied the allegations and told People.com that she was in support of him and suggesting that there was no bad blood between the two.
She said: “I did it to keep his chin up. It’s an awkward position to be in. He’s been cleared but anyone can say anything.”
One of the celebrities supporting Suzie from outside the ceremony was actress and comedian Kathy Griffin, who tweeted the stylist to offer her a job and support her speaking out.
She tweeted: “Hey Suzie Hardy, I will do for you that which no one did for me after May 30, After you were brave enough to speak out I’m happy to offer you a job as my stylist to dress me this week for Jimmy Kimmel and Real Time & I’ll PAY you. What ya think? KG.”
The actress is referring to an incident where she was pictured holding a mask of Donald Trump’s severed head, which lost her endorsement deals and her CNN New Years hosting spot.
Actress Tiffany Haddish also referenced allegations the Academy Awards have received in the past for their lack of diversity. The ‘Girls Trip’ star and Maya Rudolph presented the Academy Awards for Documentary Short and Live-Action Short and during their time on stage, the two stars joked the ceremony was “too black now”.
Maya said: “But we just want to say, don’t worry. There are so many more white people to come.”
Tiffany added: “So many. We just came from backstage, and there are tons of them back there.
“And not just movie stars, there are white people walking around with headsets, white people with clipboards. I’m personally not a fan of white people with clipboards, because I’m always wondering, what are they writing down about me?”
Tiffani even joked that she will only return for another presenting role if she got paid.
Speaking on the Governors Ball red carpet after the show to Entertainment Tonight, she said: “I would totally do it if we get paid! ‘Cause I didn’t get paid for [presenting tonight.]
“I didn’t get nothing. If I get paid, I’m down. ‘Cause, you know, I got bills to pay. I gotta pay for these dresses.
“Retweet if you agree! Let’s get her some money!”
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