The #MeToo movement grasped the public consciousness in October 2017, revealing Hollywood’s disturbing history of systematic sexual harassment and assault of women. The flood of stories arrived at the the precise right time to become a constant topic of conversation during awards season. Red carpet blackouts were enacted, speeches were dedicated, and pins were worn, all in the name of #MeToo and the subsequent Times Up initiative. The 2018 Oscars serve as the final study in how Hollywood can survive its very public crisis of conscience.
Despite all the lapel pins and woke conversations during the E!’s annual Live special, the most moving image from the Academy Awards red carpet was seeing #MeToo warriors Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino arrive together as dates.
As accounts of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of chilling predatory behavior filled the news cycle, it was eventually revealed the now-disgraced mega-producer waged a “smear campaign” against both Judd and Sorvino years ago. Lord Of The Rings trilogy helmer Peter Jackson said as much in December 2017, confirming Weinstein and his brother Bob Weinstein urged him not to cast either Judd or Sorvino in his sci-fi blockbusters, claiming the women were “nightmares.” The Weinsteins then hung up on Bad Santa director Terry Zwigoff every time Sorvino's name came up during casting conversations.
This kind of career-ruining punishment seems to be a direct result of both actresses rejecting Weinstein’s chilling sexual advances and harassment. Judd helped to usher in the #MeToo movement by revealing Weinstein once arrived to their hotel room-appointment in nothing but a robe and asked to either give the young woman a massage or have her watch him shower. Sorvino later revealed a similar story, saying Weinstein did massage her and subsequently “chased” her around a hotel room. Sorvino had told ex-boyfriend and director Quentin Tarantino about the incident and he still continued to work with the Weinstein Company head honcho.
Seeing these two women now smiling, hugging, and straight-up thriving at the 2018 Oscars in the face of speaking truth to Hollywood’s strongest power couldn’t be more exciting or heartwarming. Especially when you know Weinstein is out there somewhere as lawsuits in mount against him. Weinstein has denied all accusations of nonconsensual sex.
And, the happy red carpet image is even better to see these two as loving dates when you remember all the good work Judd and Sorvino are doing off the red carpet. Both women have become vocal advocates against sexual harassment and assault. Sorvino recently introduced a slate of anti-harassment legislation in California backed by state senators like Connie Leyva and Hannah-Beth Jackson. Goodwill ambassador Judd is throwing her support between both Time’s Up and the Rohingya refugee crisis in Bangladesh, where more than half of the victims are women and girls.
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