Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino, two actresses reportedly blacklisted by defamed film producer Harvey Weinstein, attended the 90th Academy Awards ceremony as each other’s dates Sunday night.
Before the ceremony, Judd and Sorvino made the red carpet rounds arm-in-arm in support of the Time’s Up, an organization founded in response to the mountain of sexual assault allegations made against Hollywood actresses.
Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino discuss the #TimesUp movement on the #Oscars Red Carpet: “This movement isn’t stopping, we’re going forward until we have an equitable and safe world for women.” https://t.co/IfuElO70hE pic.twitter.com/ghKVyBUFxr
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 5, 2018
“I’m so fortunate to be with my friend and acting colleague, fellow humanitarian, fellow Harvard graduate. I chose my date extremely well,” Judd said on the red carpet. “What’s so spectacular about this moment is that finally the world is able to hear, because I believe that we women, one, our voices have been squelched, and then number two, those of us that have come forward, we have often been disbelieved, shamed, and so much of the movement is about externalizing that blame and putting it back where it belongs, which is with the perpetrator.”
The two actresses wanted to make it clear that the movement hasn’t stalled and still has a long way to go.
“I want people to know that this movement isn’t stopping,” Sorvino said. “We’re going forward until we have an equitable and safe world for women. Right now, I’ve been very actively supporting legislation in California through a group called Equal Rights Advocates. … There’s a hashtag #TakeTheLead and you can sign their position, and it’s the strongest suite of bills against sexual harassment anywhere in the country. And so we want to take our activism and our power into and change things for any women, anywhere, working in any workplace.”
As of February 2018, the Time’s Up legal defense fund, which was created to provide aid for victims of workplace misconduct, had raised over $20 million dollars and helped 1,000 people since it’s inception in January.
Academy Awards host Jimmy Kimmel addressed the controversy in his opening monologue.
“The Academy as you know took lengths to expel Harvey Weinstein from their ranks,” he said. “what happened with Harvey and what’s happening all over is long overdue … if we can work together to stop sexual harassment in the workplace. If we can do that, women will only have to deal with that every other place they go.”
While Weinstein was expelled from the Producer’s Guild of America and expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, many of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces still haven’t suffered the consequences of their alleged abuses.
Red carpet host Ryan Seacrest, for example, has faced allegations of sexual harassment from his former stylist, allegations which he has denied. The former stylist told Variety she was fired in 2013 after filing graphic complaints of harassment against the host to the network’s human resources department.
Three of Weinstein’s accusers, Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra, introduced before a video montage about equality and representation in Hollywood.
“The changes 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,” Judd said.
All three women claimed to have been sexually assaulted or harassed by Weinstein and faced retaliation from him in the form of threats.
“The range of his persuasion tactics went from sweet-talking me to that one time when, in an attack of fury, he said the terrifying words, ‘I will kill you, don’t think I can’t,’ ” Hayek claimed in an interview with The New York TImes.
UPDATE, 12:15 a.m. Monday: Near the end of a highly political evening, Frances McDormand was given the award for Best Actress in a Leading Role, and during her acceptance speech, she staged quite a moment.
“If I fall over pick me up, because I’ve got some things to say,” she said when she took the mic.
After thanking loved ones, she asked all the women in the room to stand.
“If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight,” she said, then turning to actress Meryl Streep and saying, “If you do it, everybody else will, come on.”
And she was right, as many women followed suit.
“Look around, look around, because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” she said. “I have two words to leave with you tonight, ladies and gentleman: inclusion rider.”
an inclusion rider is something actors put into their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality in hiring on movie sets. We should support this for a billion reasons, but if you can't find a reason to, here's one: it will make movies better.
— Whitney Cummings (@WhitneyCummings) March 5, 2018
As actress Whitney Cummings explained on Twitter late Sunday, inclusion writers are “something actors put into their contracts to ensure gender and racial equality in hiring on movie sets.”