The red carpet at this year’s Emmys wasn’t filled with Time’s Up pins, ribbons, or other accessories that supported a cause — but that doesn’t mean issues affecting Hollywood weren’t present on the minds of those walking into the Primetime Emmys.
Black-ish star Jennifer Lewis took the carpet in glamorous athleisure Nike wear in support of Colin Kaepernick, and one attendee wrote, “Stop Kavanaugh” on her arm, with a phone number for a hotline. There were also a small smattering of pins that said, “I am a voter.” But with Les Moonves, Louis C.K., Asia Argento, and Hollywood’s continuing narrative of #MeToo and Time’s Up, many of the men on the Emmys red carpet spoke about what that means for the industry and how voices of resistance are necessary.
TV Talk Podcast: Amy Adams, Michelle Williams, Helen Mirren & Patricia Arquette Strong Emmy Actress Limited Series & TV Movie Contenders
Daily Show nominee Trevor Noah has always been an ally and has spoken about the movements numerous times on his show. But when asked about the #MeToo movement and how it is handled in the comedy world — especially with the Louis C.K. scandal — Noah said that he doesn’t think “anyone should approach it differently because of what they do or who they are.”
“We are seeing stories being told and support being given to those who have never had support,” he told Deadline. “We are seeing an industry that has had to reckon with a blind eye that has been turned too long. We see power structures that are having to reckon with what they have allowed for too long in the pursuit of success at all costs. I came into the Daily Show when these movements were starting, and I continue to learn.”
Noah cites #MeToo founder Tarana Burke as someone who has been instrumental in helping him to understand the movement and “move forth the narrative of the conversation.”
As for the men involved, Noah points out that people make it seem that men are the victims, and people ask, “When can they come back?” and say things like, “Their lives are ruined, destroyed.” He said that we should be focusing on victims speaking up and bringing the conversation to the forefront. “The necessary changes are being made,” he said.
Considering his show’s premise, Handmaid’s Tale showrunner and Emmy nominee Bruce Miller is close to the issue as it is, in a way, art imitating life. “Hearing any of that stuff out loud is good — hearing what people think, hearing what people believe,” Miller said in regards to the progress of the #MeToo movement. “Otherwise, you don’t know, and it’s worst not knowing. If we want to move forward and change people’s minds ,we have to know why they do what they do.”
Despite his horrible character on Handmaid’s Tale, Joseph Fiennes recognizes the show’s relevance to the #MeToo movement. “There is always hope as long as there is resistance,” he said. “What I love about our show is that there’s an amazing female protagonist who is resisting, and out of that resistance is inspiration. As long as we have inspirational voices that stand up, shows will continue to inspire us.”
Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy and Big Bang Theory director Mark Cendrowski spoke about how they both have daughters, and how the movement will make their futures secure.
“As a dad of four daughters, I think that the righting of wrongs and setting the table in an amiable way where the workplace is secure is critical,” said Levy. “Formerly muted voices are now being heard. The outcomes are appropriate.”
Cendrowski adds that his daughter is in the industry and entering the Director’s Guild. He said, “You never want to feel complicit,” and that he is glad all of these stories are coming out.
In addition, Cendrowski points out how diversity and inclusion can help the industry in this matter, and said that the Directors Guild is doing their due diligence to open the door for women and people of color.
Emmy nominee and Westworld star Jeffrey Wright spoke to Deadline about diversity and inclusion, and how the industry has changed as more avenues have opened for more storytelling. He points out that it “creates greater opportunity for those who have been marginalized previously to tell their stories.” However, he adds that it is important to recognize those who came before.
“The evolution of the industry has been slow, but it has been increasingly expanding toward representing this country as it is — likewise, our country has evolved,” said Wright. “But I think when we look at ourselves and think we’ve done something special standing on shoulders of who came before us…we do a disservice to our own understanding of who we are.”
“It’s not about us — it’s about the industry,” he continued. “We have always been amazing. We have always been ingenious. America has always been fascinated with brown skin tones on film. Whether or it was blackface or early musicals. I try to carve out that nonsense. The world has always been intrigued with our stories. Our journey as a people has generated a power within us that is undeniable. We express it through our music and we express through our storytelling.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.