Hollywood’s Leading Ladies Say No To A Particular Demeaning Red Carpet Request

by Evelyn Chapman

The red carpet is our lead-in to events meant to celebrate the talent of highly esteemed artists—but somehow it’s still amuck with ridiculous pageantry and blatant sexism. Female actors are bombarded with stupid questions ranging anywhere from “Who are you wearing tonight?” to, um, “Who are you wearing tonight?” And if they’re lucky they may be asked about whom they are sleeping with or how they stay fit. This isn’t to say male actors are safe from the stupid questions, but so much more often are they asked to speak about their latest roles or the films or shows nominated for awards. You know, the reasons they’re attending the event in the first place

(For reference, see Buzzfeed’s hilarious spoof interview with Kevin Spacey. It’s the best.)

In 2012, E! News, in their seemingly desperate attempt to strip every award show of any last shred of dignity, patented their  “Mani Cam,” a small red box for female actors to “walk” their fingers through to show off their manicures and borrowed bling. Somehow, somewhere, people were watching this.

Now, some of our favorite lady celebrities are calling bullshit.

Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, and Jennifer Aniston are a few celebs who refused to take their phalanges out for a walk at this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. And who can blame them? It’s not the first time the “Mani Cam” has been shunned; Elizabeth Moss has given it the finger, and Jena Malone stuck her tongue out at it. E! correspondents were not impressed.

These refusals to be further demeaned (dare we say dehumanized?) are being hailed as signs of a “growing gender-equality push in Hollywood.” Baby steps, everybody.

Luckily there are more badass women in Hollywood than ever making moves to change things for the better. After E! gave her the ol’ up-and-down, Cate Blanchett leaned down and asked, “Do you do that to the guys?” No Cate. No they do not.

It’s not surprising that at this year’s Golden Globes—devastatingly the last to be hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey—there were more feminist good-feels than usual.  Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls twitter page started a hashtag #AskHerMore, challenging journalists to ask questions that don’t have to do with their hair, nails, diets, or fashion, and instead ask something having to do with, oh, their careers maybe? 

Red carpet interviews will continue to be warped, but these ladies are giving us some hope.

Images c/o The Independent, Buzzfeed, E! Online

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