Oscar after-parties

A night of stars, fried chicken and confusion

Singer Miley Cyrus (in a colour block dress by Prabal Gurung) with her fiance, actor Liam Hemsworth (both left), at Vanity Fair's Oscars after-party. Black Panther star Lupita Nyong'o (left) looks stunning in a black, beaded column dress by Giorgio A
Actress Frances McDormand with her son, Pedro McDormand Coen, at the Governors Ball following the 90th Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday. PHOTO: REUTERS
Singer Miley Cyrus (in a colour block dress by Prabal Gurung) with her fiance, actor Liam Hemsworth (both left), at Vanity Fair's Oscars after-party. Black Panther star Lupita Nyong'o (left) looks stunning in a black, beaded column dress by Giorgio A
Film-maker Jordan Peele, who won the award for Best Original Screenplay, with his mother, Lucinda Williams, at the Governors Ball.PHOTO: NYTIMES
Left: Singer Miley Cyrus (in a colour block dress by Prabal Gurung) with her fiance, actor Liam Hemsworth, at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party. Right: Model Kendall Jenner looks sleek in a little black dress with dramatic layers of ruffles by Redem
Left: Singer Miley Cyrus (in a colour block dress by Prabal Gurung) with her fiance, actor Liam Hemsworth, at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party. Right: Model Kendall Jenner looks sleek in a little black dress with dramatic layers of ruffles by Redemption at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party.PHOTOS: EPA-EFE, REUTERS
Left: Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o looks stunning in a black, beaded column dress by Giorgio Armani Prive at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party. Centre: Singer and Mudbound star Mary J. Blige resembles a statuette in a gold custom Vera Wang dr
Left: Black Panther star Lupita Nyong’o looks stunning in a black, beaded column dress by Giorgio Armani Prive at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party. Centre: Singer and Mudbound star Mary J. Blige resembles a statuette in a gold custom Vera Wang dress at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party. Right: Hidden Figures star Janelle Monae in a Christian Siriano pantsuit at Vanity Fair’s Oscars after-party.PHOTOS: REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, EPA-EFE

Best Actress winner Frances McDormand was the highlight of the Oscar parties, after dropping an obscure term in her acceptance speech about diversity in Hollywood

BEVERLY HILLS (California) • It was a little after midnight at the Vanity Fair Oscar party and no one was about to get in Frances McDormand's way.

A few hours earlier, she had won her second Best Actress Oscar, and now, she bobbed and weaved through a packed crowd, lifting a bucket of fried chicken above her head, going to destination unknown.

That is, until she saw Timothee Chalamet, the 22-year-old star of Call Me By Your Name. She stopped hard, offered him a kiss and a piece of fried chicken.

Chalamet, who had spent the better part of the ceremony giggling, started giggling once more. Armie Hammer, his co-star, bow tie undone, came in to give McDormand a big hug. Then, materialising out of nowhere, came actor Christopher Walken.

McDormand, whose Oscar was briefly stolen at the Governors Ball earlier in the night (she found it by the time she showed up here), had given a fiery speech about gender equality in Hollywood. Would it last?

Would #MeToo and #TimesUp last past Monday, she was asked.

"It better," she said, before disappearing into the crowd.

At the Governors Ball, McDormand had been seen putting her Oscar down on a table while she snacked on macaroni and cheese and chatted with people.

Not long after, a photographer working for Wolfgang Puck, the chef who catered the event, noticed Terry Bryant, 47, leaving the area with an Oscar in hand. The photographer took a picture of the man, alerted security and took the Oscar from him without incident, the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said on Twitter on Monday. It was then returned to McDormand. Bryant was in custody on Monday afternoon, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman said.

It is not clear what Bryant's role was at the Governors Ball, but according to the LAPD, it appears that he did have a ticket.

At one point, McDormand re-emerged, still the star of the Vanity Fair party. "Better this," she said, pointing to her Oscar, "than one of these," pointing to the coveted wristband she used to get into the party.

That was not the only thing she uttered that caused confusion. She had ended her Oscars acceptance speech with an obscure bit of legalese: inclusion rider.

She explained that she had learnt of the term only at a dinner last Friday and decided it would make for a great kicker to an Oscars acceptance speech.

An inclusion rider is a clause that an actor can insist be inserted in his contract that requires cast and crew on a film to meet a certain level of diversity.

The concept was explored in a TED talk in 2016 by communications professor Stacy Smith at the University of Southern California.

Having examined the data on diversity in United States-produced films, which showed that casting was not representative of the population, she suggested that an equity clause or inclusion rider could be part of the solution.

The term is not well-known in Hollywood, but after the awards ceremony, Twitter boasted an #inclusionrider hashtag and a Google search of the term produced more than 10 million hits.

But among the people who had not checked Twitter throughout the night, there were questions: What did McDormand say - "inclusion writer" or "inclusion wider"? And what is an inclusion rider?

"I hadn't heard the specific term," said Ronan Farrow, the journalist whose New Yorker report on producer Harvey Weinstein - along with the New York Times reports - broke open the floodgates that led to the #MeToo reckoning. Farrow loved it and was thinking of using it himself.

Two-time Oscar nominee Laura Dern said she spent her car ride from the Oscars ceremony Googling the term. She loved it too and said the challenge now would be to maintain the momentum.

"It's changing," she said hesitantly, adding that the fight had to continue every day.

Film-maker Greta Gerwig kept it up on the dance floor. Jordan Peele, his Best Original Screenplay Oscar firmly on the table, held court near an under-utilised espresso machine.

It was getting close to 2am and, within a few hours, offices around Hollywood would soon reopen. Would any of this last?

NYTIMES, REUTERS, GUARDIAN

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 07, 2018, with the headline 'A night of stars, fried chicken and confusion'. Print Edition | Subscribe