Was sexism on the red carpet better in the Golden Globes 2016?
Yes slightly, but still all a bit awkward. The 2016 award season is now here in full force. Despite the efforts of Ricky Gervais with his own wince-making jibes at individuals and the industry, it is still a sector given to gushing self-congratulation and drinking its own KoolAid. We now face being subjected to a two month battery of fawning and uncomfortable interviews with international celebs. One change however that is welcome, is a shift away from the usual sexism on the red carpet, led by the #AsHerMore campaign.
Spearheaded in 2014 by some of Hollywood’s biggest female stars the #AskHerMore campaign was designed to discourage sexism on the red carpet by reporters. Attempts were made across social media to get them to pose more meaningful questions than the typical “Who are you wearing?” and asking actresses to insert their hands into the “Mani cam.”
This, by the way for the uninformed, is a camera that allows viewers to look at the manicures and jewellery of actresses.
Yes… Really? What are we 6?
Not unsurprisingly these actresses prefer to be asked more demanding and substantial questions and are looking for a different type of dialogue. The #AskHerMore campaign has been trending on social media also highlights the difference in questions posed to female and male actors. Elle magazine started a Flip the Script project where male actors are asked the same inane questions about their outfits and work life balance. Watch funny moments when bemused male movie stars are asked “how long did it take you to get ready?” and then to give a twirl.
Why does this matter? Because young girls do watch these shows (more so than adults probably) and we need to see our top actresses portrayed in a more balanced way. It’s not just about the dress!
3Plus, in its own small way, actively encouraged actresses to refuse to answer the “who are you wearing” question last year. Participating in such vacuous dialogue, detracts from other issues such as equal pay and opportunity in the film industry. Having suffered watching some of the interviews from yesterdays show, it is getting slightly better, with the offending question being popped at the end. Many from the fashion industry would say that this is a huge marketing op for the main designers who give these actresses a choice of gowns from their collection. This in turn has a knock on effect on high street trends. So maybe don’t take the fashion out totally. But there should be more value adding content.
Actress Amy Poehler has been building a feminist foundation for girls called “Smart Girls”. Last year, Smart Girls partnered with the Emmys to get #AskHerMore off the ground with the help of the hashtag #SmartGirlsAs to produce an range of questions with suggestions from well-known professionals such as Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes and Jamie Lee Curtis.
It is obvious that these reporters need input from the Twittersphere for question prompts and struggled to come up with their own ideas. Let’s hope that this input will produce the turnaround we are all looking for.
#AskHerMore creates additional awareness on media coverage of talented female acting professionals. More women, more roles, more money, more content.
Do you encounter sexism in your workplace – contact 3Plus