The Oscar Red Carpet as a Huge PR Opportunity

Do celebs have to put up with the Mani Cam in order to score big deals?

Kimye in the E! Network's 360 cam at the Grammys.

The awards season comes to a close this weekend with the presentation of the Academy Awards. (#Oscars is already trending.) That makes this weekend the final opportunity for red carpet programs to do their thing after a season in which there has been heightened scrutiny of some of the coverage.  Just last month, the E! Network’s Mani Cam was coming under fire for being one more piece of a Hollywood landscape that doesn’t treat women fairly.

With 8 1/2 hours (!!) of red carpet broadcasting planned for Sunday, Gary Snegaroff, the executive producer of the E! Live From The Red Carpet, made an appearance in a CBS This Morning segment to explain the appeal of these shows.

“It’s that sense of seeing the stars in that unrehearsed way,” he says, noting the great interest that audiences have in the red carpet goings on.

As the programs have gotten longer and longer, the hosts have had to ask more detailed questions and add more bells and whistles to fill the time. Where celebs were once simply asked who they were wearing, now they have to dig into the details of their nail art.

True, the red carpet has the same appeal as many reality shows; this idea that anything can happen from a random comment to a J-Law practical joke, to a celebrity snafu. Let’s face it, watching the hosts squirm during the inevitable awkward moment is worth the the time.

And certainly, showing footage of the stars in their beautiful designer gowns and discussing what you like is just a fun activity. But that’s not really the reason why the “A-list stars,” as CBS News put it, have a problem with it. This enjoyable but superficial activity is focused squarely on the appearance of the women, much less so on the men. And with so many actresses struggling to be taken seriously in their craft, this sort of thing doesn’t help.

The segment is attached below and about midway through, it kind of loses the plot, talking more about the history of the red carpet and Joan Rivers’ contribution. But there’s an interesting portion towards in the end in which Entertainment Tonight‘s Nancy O’Dell talks about the money to be made from the exposure the red carpet provides. So even though, as Gayle King says, you don’t have to walk the carpet, you could be losing big bucks by bypassing it.

Image above: Kim & Kanye in the E! Network 360 Cam at the Grammys