The pressure was on Ryan Seacrest, Giuliana Rancic, Robin Roberts and the other correspondents covering last night’s Oscars red carpet, not only because of the millions watching and live tweeting the celebrity arrivals, but because of the hashtag that bubbling up on Twitter.
#AskHerMore, which is still trending this morning, challenged the red carpet coverage to go beyond asking actresses who they’re wearing. Rather, it was a call to also ask them about their work.
Reese Witherspoon, a previous Academy Award winner and nominee last night for her performance in Wild, kicked things into high gear with this post on her Instagram page.
The caption read “❤️ this movement #AskHerMore..have you heard of it? It’s meant to inspire reporters to ask creative questions on the red carpet. I love the Oscars AND fashion like many of you – & am excited to share #WhoAmIWearing later tonight. (not yet!!) But I’d also love to answer some of these Qs….And hear your suggestions?! (Share em below!) There are so many amazing, talented nominees this year..! Let’s hear their stories! Spread the word. #AskHerMore #Oscars #Countdown”
Interestingly, she wasn’t just calling for correspondents to ask about their movies, but other facets of their lives.
The hashtag is part of a campaign launched by the Representation Project last year (it’s now also supported by Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization) and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, picked up steam after the last Emmy Awards ceremony. As we’ve mentioned here, the E! Network’s Mani Cam and other red carpet features have come under fire from the celebrities themselves, who have more frequently refused to take part in the last couple of red carpet shows. And in case you hadn’t noticed, the Mani Cam was nixed during yesterday’s red carpet show.
Moreover, with people all kinds of fired up, Ryan Seacrest caught some heat yesterday for a line of questioning for Naomi Watts (who was in the big winner Birdman) after he spent perhaps a little too much time concentrating on IG photo of the actress with her morning frittata.
Some have made the case that the red carpet, where designer gowns and tuxedos are a fixture, is made for conversations about fashion, and those conversations happen with both the men and women. Fair enough. The point that the hashtag and its supporters seem to be making is that it shouldn’t be the sum total of the discussion for the ladies when it’s not for the guys. And veering off into discussions about relationships, motherhood and other “lady topics” without diving into the work — the reason why the Oscars exist — is unfair. True, these are quick interviews, but mixing things up is a good thing for everyone.