Click hate: The reductive coverage of the 2018 Academy Awards
Last night marked the 90th Academy Awards ceremony – an evening of fawning acceptance speeches, accolades voted by old white dudes, and a sparkling example of virtue-signalling in Versace. I’m sure we can all rest easy now, knowing which movie studio pumped the most cash into its marketing campaign.
Of course, this year was a big one for Hollywood, marking the first since the sexual harassment scandal broke last October. As such, publications today have been abuzz, covering the event by meticulously focusing on the most essential details. You know, like which celebrity was daring enough to wear white on the red carpet. Viva la revolution!
Jokes aside, surely if Hollywood was truly making an impactful statement, it would involve more than wearing fluffy slippers? Judging by the coverage of the 2018 ceremony, perhaps not:
Not all protests have to be monochrome
In a conversation about the awards season’s all black red carpet protests, The Guardian‘s take on the Oscars was even more reductive than the concept of a dress code protest itself. With all the gusto of a high-school gossiper, the paper stated, “not all protests have to be monochrome. Film stars struck blows for feminism at the Academy Awards in dresses of pink, gold, red, yellow, and furry slippers.” [Groan]
Inadvertently reducing the Oscars to nothing more than a glorified fashion show was the BBC, declaring, “As always fashion and the Oscars go hand in hand.” The UK’s leading news provider went on to discuss a step-by-step guide for Olympic medallist & figure skater Adam Rippon’s outRAGEous outfit choice. Apparently Tyra Banks called it “fierce” – it’s clear who the real winner of the ceremony was, right?
Faux pas fuckups
Perhaps the most depressing “articles” to have emerged from the Academy aftermath are those related to the alleged fashion mishaps. For example, Vanity Fair’s coverage of actress & singer Rita Moreno proved that you quite literally can’t wear an outfit more than once without someone writing an entire feature about it – even if the last time you wore it was in 1962.
Elsewhere, while the colorfully-clad women of the Oscars were commended for their bold fashion statements, those who went too bold were ripped apart by the press. Just check out The Daily Mail’s take on the fashion faux pas fuckups: “It’s all gone downhill! Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn hits a bum note in gothic lace and Salma Hayek suffers a fashion fail in lilac sequins.” Criminal! So remember this for the next Oscar Awards:
Pinks, greys, reds, golds, furry slippers = feminist protest.
Lilacs, sequins, lace, floral patterns = fashion fail.
All that sparkles
However, fashion fails do not apply when you’re Timothée Chalamet a.k.a. the golden boy a.k.a. The Oscars darling. He can do no wrong – even when wearing an all white tux. The Thrillist agrees, citing his “moment” in the spotlight thanks to a somewhat “sexy” appearance on the cover of GQ.
Elsewhere, Vogue had an entire story to tell about Wonder Woman Gal Gadot’s “epic” jewels, while Forbes couldn’t help but drool over the $30 million in watches & jewelry worn by celebrities this year. This wasn’t the only place the cash was splashed – in addition to the heavy ice, Academy Award nominees all received £72,500 gift bags for simply gracing the event with their presence. Perhaps actors could have donated their gifting suite swag to good causes if they really wanted to make a statement. Just an idea.
Hollywood executives (and their dates)
If you’re looking for a groan-worthy celebration of red carpet disparity, check out The Hollywood Reporter’s photo gallery entitled “Executives (and their dates) on the red carpet”. Were the brackets really necessary? As you might imagine, the pictures consist of the industry’s top chairmen & CEOs (along with their doting wives – in brackets).
Well that’s it for another year, folks. Let’s give a slow clap for the coverage of the 2018 Oscars along with their subjects – Hollywood’s red carpet activists. Remember everyone, the only way to fight systemic sexual harassment is to stay chic!