Breast-Feeding Moms Had To Pump In The Bathroom At The Oscars

Photo: Broadimage/REX Shutterstock.
Pregnant A-listers may have been celebrated for stepping out on this year's Oscars red carpet. But new moms didn't get the same level of love.

Apparently, the only place for them to pump breast milk at the 88th Academy Awards was in the bathroom.

A reporter from the Los Angeles Times spotted actor Tom Hardy hanging around in the lobby during the event, where he explained that he was waiting for Charlotte Riley. “I'm just waiting for my wife to finish breast-pumping in the bathroom,” Hardy explained. “She has to do it every hour.” And while it's tempting to turn this into a sweet anecdote about a doting husband waiting for his wife, it's actually a perfect allegory for the way the industry marginalizes women.

After all, breast-pumping isn't easy, even under the most relaxing of circumstances — which wearing a ball gown at the biggest awards show of the season is not, by the way. On top of that, breast-pumping in a place where people are using the toilet should set off all sorts of sanitation red flags.

This isn't the first year that planners haven't considered the needs of new moms. In 2013, Adele revealed that — along with a number of other female stars — she was running to the bathroom between awards to pump-and-dump. "All these Hollywood superstars, lined up and breast-feeding in the ladies," she marveled during an interview with The Guardian at the time.

It's despicable to see how little progress has been made since then when it comes to taking women's needs into consideration. But when there's nowhere else to go, new moms make do — even when they deserve so much better.

Update, March 2, 2016: The day after we published this story, the Academy reached out to inform us that they take the issue of lactation at the Oscars seriously. They sent this statement:

"For several years now, the Academy has accommodated breast-feeding moms to ensure their comfort and convenience during the Oscars ceremony. This year was no exception. We have a nurse on site and a private area set aside for this purpose. Discretion does not permit us to elaborate further other than to say that our talent department goes to great lengths to tailor each mom's experience to fit her specific needs."
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