Oscars 2015: #AskHerMore campaign may inspire a red carpet rebellion

All eyes will be on Sunday's awards gala amid a growing backlash against some of the worst excesses of celebrity journalism.

Social media movement encourages reporters to ask actresses smarter questions

CBC's Deana Sumanac-Johnson on the social media movement encouraging reporters to ask actresses smarter questions. 2:13

The Academy Awards are as much about the parade of well-heeled Hollywood celebrities as they are about the movies they star in. But conditions are ripe for a red carpet rebellion at this Sunday's awards gala amid a growing backlash against some of the worst excesses of celebrity journalism.

Tired of being asked only, "Who are you wearing?" and fielding requests to stick their hand into so-called mani cams, an increasing number of A-list celebrities have been reacting to the superficiality of the awards season spectacle. 

Actress Jennifer Lawrence arrives on the red carpet for the 2013 Oscars. All eyes will be on this Sunday's Academy Awards red carpet to see whether celebrity journalists participate in the #AskHerMore campaign. (Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
At this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards, Julianne Moore and Jennifer Aniston refused to let their fingers do the walking in the E! network's mani cam, a tiny box-like version of the red carpet complete with a camera, designed to focus on the fingernails and jewelry of the female stars.

Discomfort has been building for a while. Mad Men actress Elizabeth Moss gave the mani cam the finger, live on air, at the 2014 Golden Globes.

Last year, Cate Blanchett called a cameraman to task for panning the full length of her body, crouching down and staring into the lens as she demanded to know "Do you do that to the guys?"  

It is this perceived double standard that sparked the #AskHerMore social media campaign.

#AskHerMore campaign demands better interview questions

This Sunday, all eyes will be on the various Oscar red carpet pre-shows to see how things play out.

Empowering the lady in the dress

Started by the Representation Project, but taken up by Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, a female empowerment organization, #AskHerMore solicits questions via twitter that will take actresses as seriously as their male counterparts.

Alee-a Blanco, social media director for Amy Poehler's Smart Girls, hopes the #AskHerMore campaign will lead to more insightful questions posed to actresses on this year's pre-Oscars red carpet. (Kim Brunhuber/CBC News)
The campaign's social media director, Alee-a Blanco, acknowledges the public is still curious to know about the high powered designers behind celebrity fashion, but wants questions to probe a little deeper. 

"There's nothing wrong with asking 'Who are you wearing?'" she told CBC outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood where the Oscars will take place on Sunday. "But it becomes a problem when it's the only question they are being asked time and time again."

"We want to know about the ladies in the dress," Blanco added. "We want to know about their passions!"

Gaëlle Morel is the curator of a new photo exhibition at the Ryerson Image Centre called Burn with Desire: Photography and Glamour.

She says the representation of actresses on the red carpet hasn't altered much over the decades. 

"It's very difficult for a woman, probably, not to play that game," she told CBC. "But at the same time you're being objectified and you know it. And of course men and women are being treated differently."

While suggested questions pour in for the #AskHerMore campaign, change may not come so fast. Ratings for the various red carpet shows have increased for the past few years so we may not have seen the end of the mani cam quite yet.


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