Forget Michael Moore protesting the war in Iraq, or Marlon Brando sending a Native American rights activist up to accept his award for Best Actor. Last night’s was the most campaigning crop of Oscar winners in memory. There were calls for women’s rights, African-American civil rights, immigrant rights and gay rights. Did I miss anything?
Reese Witherspoon, Patricia Arquette and Julianne Moore lent their voices to a red carpet campaign to take women more seriously. The #AskHerMore campaign encourages journalists to ask Hollywood actresses more than just what they’re wearing. As Witherspoon said: “It’s hard being a woman in Hollywood.”
Civil rights groups staged a protest outside the Dolby Theater intending to “send a message to Hollywood and the film industry” that this year’s “white wash” (all 20 acting nominees were Caucasian) was not acceptable.
Dana Perry, the co-director of Best Documentary Short winner Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, called for greater public awareness of suicide. Graham Moore, winner of Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game, revealed he had attempted suicide at 16 because he felt “weird” for being gay. “This is for that kid who feels like they don’t fit in,” he said: “Stay weird, stay different.”
Redmayne, meanwhile, dedicated his win to ALS sufferers around the world – specifically Stephen Hawking, whom he portrayed in The Theory of Everything. Julianne Moore, who won Best Actress for her portrayal of a woman diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in Still Alice, reserved particular thanks for her co-director Richard Glatzer, who also suffers from ALS.