Red Carpet and MeToo

It’s that time of year again. Seems like every week there’s a televised awards show, and with each one, an additional preshow for red carpet fashion coverage. On some networks (E!), the red carpet coverage is longer than the actual telecast. Then, the following day, as if all the preshow coverage wasn’t enough, many networks, local and national, troll out more panels to discuss who wore who and how it looked. Is all of this necessary? And in the era of #MeToo, why is it still okay to comment on how celebrities, mostly women, look?

It does seem like producers of these red carpet shows and day-after “news” segments are sensitive to and careful about who does the commenting. Most, if not all of the panels, are comprised of women and gay men. At least that’s the profile I saw over and over again before and after the GRAMMY’s last weekend.

Imagine for a moment if we replaced the women and gay men picking apart Katy Perry’s dress with these guys?

Hollywood would have a hissy fit. And rightly so. So it begs the question, if it wouldn’t be okay for Terry Bradshaw to comment on how women look on the red carpet, why is it okay for women and gay men?

Does the entertainment industry have a blind spot when it comes to the #MeToo movement? Maybe. Are there larger institutional and infrastructural issues relating to the power imbalances between men and women throughout the industry? Definitely. But when it comes to just this aspect of critiquing fashion choices, there is also hypocrisy. The sport of gossiping on what women wear (or for that matter what anyone wears) and how they look in what they’re wearing and the fashion choices they make should end. In fact, it should have ended a long time ago.


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