Award season is back and in general, I’m not a fan of how we handle the events. In the post-Weinstein world I think it’s time to do away with the cattle-call that is “The Award Show Red Carpet.” (Insert Wilhelm scream here).
The Red Carpet distills so much of what is wrong with Hollywood into a few dozen feet of cheap indoor-outdoor.
Women nominees are asked such riveting questions as “who are you wearing?” and “what do you think of working with (insert male co-star, director, producer name here)?” It strips away their accomplishment and diminishes their work. It gives the message that their looks are more important than their talent. It reduces them to the value of their look. It’s objectifying, and it’s asinine.
This isn’t anything new, and I think it’s considered harmless. It isn’t.
Media outlets have round-table discussions, write page after page of text and shoot hours of videos about “who wore it best,” and “red-carpet fails.” Lining women up on a red carpet to be judged on their looks and vilified if found too thin, too fat, too anything, is abhorrent. It perpetuates an idea that women are objects, and dare I say it, chattel. Asking them silly questions about everything but their work is insulting. It is an attitude and practice that contributes to sexism in the industry.
The way the red carpet works isn’t harmless. It creates an atmosphere of judgement by people who have no right to comment on someone’s looks, and sets focus on those looks as possibly being more important than the craft that got the nominee there in the first place. I’ve seen women brush aside those questions and it’s glorious – I just wish they didn’t have to.