Last night, celebrities at the 90th Academy Awards were there to make a statement — about inclusion, about diversity, and about women’s rights. And while presenters and winners weren’t afraid to shy away from some pretty big topics, there were some pretty big issues left unaddressed.
The #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have been going pretty strong in Hollywood, as was evident at the Oscars — not only did the award show take some time to address the issue, but there’s also a pretty big chance that James Franco and The Disaster Artist didn’t make it into the running after Franco’s win at the Golden Globes brought to light some disturbing allegations from actresses that had worked with him. Even last year’s winner for Best Actor, Casey Affleck, wasn’t asked to present any awards this year after his own sexual assault allegations against him. But apparently some people slipped through the cracks — or, you know, people just decided to ignore the allegations toward them.
It all started when, earlier in the night, Kobe Bryant won an award for Best Animated Short for “Dear Basketball.”
Bryant was arrested in 2003 after a 19-year-old woman accused him of rape, but the case was dropped after she said she was unwilling to testify in court. Of course, that doesn’t mean anyone has forgotten about it, and Twitter users were swift to point that out.
But Kobe wasn’t the only winner of the night that received scrutiny for his past. In fact, Best Actor winner Gary Oldman received quite a bit of backlash for his win as well.
You see, back in 2001, Gary Oldman’s then-wife, Donya Fiorentino, filed papers in the Los Angeles Superior Court claiming that Oldman had assaulted her in front of their children. When she had tried to call the police, she said, he took the phone from her and began hitting her with it. So it’s truly no wonder why people were wondering how Oldman managed to sweep this year’s awards season with such a dark cloud hanging over his past.
It all seemed a little strange, given Hollywood’s anti-abuse message this past year.
The Oscars having Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren give a stirring #MeToo speech and then making them give the Oscar to Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill is richly symbolic
— Jack Mirkinson (@jackmirkinson) March 5, 2018
Last year, alleged sexual harasser Casey Affleck won Best Actor at the #Oscars. This year, alleged domestic abuser Gary Oldman won.
— Andrea González-Ramírez (@andreagonram) March 5, 2018
Is it because these allegations were left in the past? Or because, quite frankly, voters don’t really care about #MeToo or Time’s Up once they’re anonymous? Whatever it may be, I’m a bit disappointed — we’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.