Hollywood can’t catch a break from having to discuss difficult topics when all they want is to honor and pat each other on the back for one beautiful night. While Trump permeated last year’s awards season (and will continue to), sexual assault allegations appear to be this year’s primary source of anxiety.
Actors will no doubt be asked to address male abuse of power on the red carpet, and references to bad men will likely pop up in acceptance speeches. According to Page Six, Hollywood is preemptively “dreading” this:
“Just think of all those speeches, oh God,” one female rep says, imagining the onslaught of intense words from winners.
Says another industry vet of the wave of harassment revelations, “It was actually always here . . . but [we believed it was committed] just by a few. Now it seems like it was literally 50 percent of all men in Hollywood. That is starting to stir, and we will see the year of awards ‘retribution.’”
The challenge is that honoring films starring and made by women (Wonder Woman, The Beguiled, Lady Bird) could become opportunities for the film industry to publicly redeem itself (or at least be viewed as such), since people tend to seek out stories of triumph during awards season. Hollywood is obsessed with making itself look good, but does focusing on the shallowest parts of female empowerment both overshadow the post-Oscars-So White diversity agenda and ultimately hurt female filmmakers?
A woman executive told Page Six, “It’s sad for women in some sense—that if this is ‘their year,’ it could be seen as backlash against the establishment rather than [as] deserving work. Bittersweet.”