If you’ve ever watched the four-hour extravaganza that is the E! Network’s Red Carpet coverage of a Hollywood award show then you’re familiar with the “mani cam.” For those who have been spared this nonsense, it’s a box with a camera that celebs use to “walk” their fingers down a tiny red carpet to show off their manicure.
Think about that: actresses who are up for some of the most prestigious awards in their industry are expected to “walk” their manicures down a tiny red carpet to fill an inordinate amount of time that E! has turned over to their own team of bedazzled correspondents.
It’s really a case of a company taking a trend too far. Nail art hit its peak over the last couple of years. It’s true; celebs are now putting as much effort into their nails as they are into their outfits. And jewelry is nice. But this little E! Network feature has always been a bit too much.
Moreover, we’re having a moment now when Hollywood, particularly women and minorities in show business, are speaking up about the lack of diversity in projects and how unfair perceptions are translating into what is presented to audiences. More women are calling out the lack of meaty parts for them to play. Behind-the-camera nominees are being scrutinized. As Entertainment Tonight points out, women are just feeling more empowered.
So with that in mind, Jennifer Aniston and Julianne Moore just flat out refused to be a part of the mani cam spectacle during the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday. And our pretend BFF Cate Blanchett went a step further and gave a cross look to the person behind the camera who was panning up and down her body while she gave her E! interview.
Granted, ET is a competitor, so they’re going to zero in on anything awkward that happens on E! But these mani cam fiascos are happening too often for the network to sustain. Moreover, they run the risk of alienating the famous folks who are the bread and butter of the program.
E! itself seems to have stuck with coverage on its website of the mani cam refusal from Orphan Black‘s Tatiana Maslany, who said simply that her hands were a mess, and a supercut of a few willing participants. But we’re sure they’re not ignoring what appears to be growing backlash. The Oscars are in just a few weeks. We wouldn’t be surprised if they decide to introduce a new feature to replace this one.