Julianne Moore, Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon all rebuffed a request to participate in what's becoming a troubled awards show tradition: E!'s red carpet mani cam.

The Hollywood A-listers all refused to put their digits in the device at Sunday night's Screen Actors Guild Awards in Los Angeles, raising questions about the appropriateness of the mani cam and sparking a discussion about feminism online.

Celebrity fashions have long been a talking point, for decades, even before the late comedian and red carpet fixture Joan Rivers coined the phrase "who are you wearing?" 

Sofia Vergara mani cam

Modern Family's Sofia Vergara is pushed into the mani cam spotlight by Reese Witherspoon at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards. (E! )

But the American pop culture and celebrity channel E! took scrutinizing celebrities to a new level, introducing the mani cam at the 2012 Emmys.

The shtick involves hosts asking stars to "walk" their fingers down a miniature red carpet in a box, with a camera at one end to get a close-up look at actresses' manicures and jewellery.

'I’m not doing that'

But things got awkward at Sunday's SAGs when E! host Maria Menounos asked Julianne Moore to put her nails on display.

"No, I’m not doing that," said the Still Alice star (who later won a SAG for her performance).

Wild actress Reese Witherspoon and Tatiana Maslany, the Canadian star of Orphan Black, also refused to let their fingers do the walking.

Cake star Jennifer Aniston dashed the request by shaking her head and making a gesture as if she were cracking a whip.

It's not the first time stars have pushed back on mani cam requests. Cate Blanchett famously rejected the offer at last year's SAGs, asking "Do you do that to the guys?" And Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss gave the camera a well-manicured finger.

#AskHerMore 

Whether last night's mani cam refusals were based on politics or modesty, they helped give traction to a growing campaign to get red carpet reporters to ask female celebrities better questions.

The #AskHerMore campaign was started by non-profit advocacy group, The Representation Project, last February in an attempt to highlight the differences between a typical red carpet interview with a male celebrity, and one with a female celebrity.

The hashtag popped up again on Sunday night as fans watched the gala while on Twitter. 

  • On mobile? Read some of the Twitter reaction here, here and here

What do you think?

Are red carpet hijinks, like the mani cam, demeaning to female celebrities? Or is the focus on fashion and beauty just part and parcel with being a star, and doing business, in Hollywood.

Tweet us at @CBCArts or let us know in the comments below.