Hi, everyone. Did you miss me? I missed you. But I am officially back to talk to you about (what should be) everybody’s favorite season–Awards Season!
Here’s a quick recap for those of you out of the loop:
On January 7, 2018 the Golden Globes took place at the Beverly Hilton. Men and women alike were dressed in all black as a form of protest surrounding the unveiling of many sexual abusers and harassers in Hollywood that started back in October when H*rvey W*instein was revealed to be the monster he is. Many jacket lapels and gowns were adorned with pins reading “Times Up,” supporting a new initiative launched on January , 20181 by women of Hollywood, dedicated to getting legal help and funding to women in every industry silenced by sexual harassment and assault every day, but without the global platform or job security to fight back.
On the E! Entertainment red carpet, women were asked why they were wearing black, rather than who they were wearing, which is something red carpet reporters have been criticized for in the past (I’m still not sure what the whole world has against entertainment journalists asking celebrities about fashion when there wouldn’t be a red carpet without those outfits, but that’s another article that’s been brewing for a while.)
While every woman who presented or won an award spoke about female empowerment, changing the industry, and supporting fellow women, none of the men did. The next week at the Critics Choice Awards, host Olivia Munn and presenter Niecy Nash criticized men for taking a backseat. It seems that a lot of men in Hollywood are taking the easy way out by throwing around the same statement whenever anybody asks them their stance on the Times Up movement: “I think it’s time to just sit back and listen.”
Okay, sure. I’m not certain these men understand that when women ask them to listen, they’re actually asking them to stop speaking up over them. The growing problem now is that men are taking a backseat and letting this be a problem for women to solve, when it has been proven in the past few months that the men in power are the problem.
I read a powerful statement online a few days after the Globes stating that if these women hadn’t been brave enough to stand up against their harassers and abusers, H*rvey W*instein might have been another man on the red carpet wearing all black and pretending to be for women. True change comes when men hold themselves and each other accountable for their actions, and unfortunately that did not happen at the Golden Globes.
The only man to win an award and accept it with a powerful message was Sterling K. Brown, who spoke about the importance of representation in film and television, and what it means for the actor portraying that role and the people watching it. He gave us a strong reminder that just because we’re focusing on women’s rights this year does not mean that people of color suddenly don’t matter again.
Three weeks later, at the Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAGs), the same happened, but it wasn’t as noticeable, because there were far fewer men onstage in general. For the first time, the SAG awards had a host, a job given to Kristen Bell, and they only had women presenters. The exception was for ensemble casts getting on stage to introduce the films nominated for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Theatrical Motion Picture.
The Los Angeles Times pointed out a semi-inspiring/semi-disappointing fact about many of the female nominees and recipients of the SAG award: They were over 40 years of age. This is inspiring because it rejected the rampant ageism in Hollywood and honored talented women for their talent and not for their age. It’s disappointing, of course, because we shouldn’t be so elated to find that the industry is treating women over a certain age with reverence and respect. Nicole Kidman actually brought this up during her speech, thanking SAG-AFTRA for awarding her with such an honor despite her age.
When awarded the Life Achievement Award, Morgan Freeman also made a feminist message, added in at the end of his speech and prefixed with, “I wasn’t going to do this.” He remarked that while the SAG Award, called the “Actor,” was gender neutral at the back, from the front it was very clearly male. This brings about an interesting point about whether or not gender equality will stretch that far into the ceremonies. Will the statue change, and what will this mean for every other award? After all, the Oscar is a historically recognized statue, nicknamed a male name and slightly more male-looking than female. Is this the era of newness, and more importantly, will it render my tattoo obsolete??
We’re living in a world where awards shows celebrating the arts have become significantly more political. Those involved in the industry are using their voice for something important, and because of this the ceremonies in the past few years have not been as lighthearted as some expect them to be. This is a good thing! It means people are fighting for social justice and doing what’s right. However, if you’re missing some of the quirkiness of awards season, here were some sweet moments:
Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson: This mother-daughter duo is goals. They’re so sweet and get along so well. On the E! News Red Carpet they both spoke about how the other has inspired them. Then while presenting later that evening, Hawn made a funny joke about how rare it is to be in a room full of actors only for Hudson to remind her that since their family is made up of actors, the awards were like their own living room.
Olivia Munn and Niecy Nash: These two were once again hilarious as presenters. This time, they did a bit about how much hard work it was to watch every nominee and vote. They proceeded to describe every nominee incorrectly, making it obvious that they hadn’t watched the shows. My favorite was when Niecy Nash said her favorite part about Sterling K. Brown was every time he yelled, “This is us!” on his show This Is Us.
Alexander Skarsgard: Skarsgard was obviously not expecting to win this award, even though he previously won the same award at the Emmys and Golden Globes for his role in Big Little Lies. He walked onstage with a look of utter disbelief on his face, and made a joke asking who the better actor was: “Robert De Niro or the tall guy from True Blood?” His modesty was touching, but he definitely deserved the award.
Join me soon to go over the Oscar nominations, including snubs, surprises, and the same old same old.
Happy awards season!