Film

The Oscars Are Facing A #MeToo Backlash After Giving Awards To Gary Oldman And Kobe Bryant

"What happened to the #MeToo movement?"

Ever since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke, influential figures in Hollywood have been speaking out against the harassment and abuse of women, and demanding that perpetrators be held accountable for their actions.

But on Oscar night, two alleged abusers went home with awards and a third was a major presence on the red carpet.

Despite the industry’s supposed embrace of Time’s Up and #MeToo, both Gary Oldman and basketballer Kobe Bryant won Academy gold on Sunday evening. Oldman was awarded Best Actor for his performance in The Darkest Hour, while Bryant won Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball. Meanwhile, E! host Ryan Seacrest took his usual position on the red carpet ahead of the ceremony.

All three men have been accused of abuse or harassment. Oldman’s ex-wife Donya Fiorentino accused the actor of domestic abuse in 2001, claiming that he strangled her and hit her several times with a telephone receiver when she tried to call the police.

Bryant was accused of rape by a woman in 2003. A high profile criminal case against the NBA star was eventually dropped after the alleged victim opted not to testify in court following months of harassment and multiple death threats from basketball fans.

Seacrest was last week accused of “years of unwanted sexual aggression” by his personal stylist.

Oldman and Seacrest have both denied the allegations against them. Oldman said his ex-wife is a “fantasist” who had a problem with addiction and was an unfit mother. Following the couple’s separation, Oldman was given custody of the their children.

Bryant’s accuser eventually filed a civil suit against him, which was later settled out of court. As part of the settlement agreement, Bryant issued an apology through his attorney, stating that “although I truly believe this encounter between us was consensual, I recognise now that she did not and does not view this incident the same way I did.”

Following the ceremony, many commentators and social media users expressed anger at the fact that Academy voters were still willing to embrace and reward men who have been accused of abuse.

Their sentiments were shared by Fiorentino. “Congratulations, Gary and congratulations to the Academy for awarding not one but two abusers with Oscars,” she said in a sarcastic statement to TMZ. “I thought we had evolved. What happened to the #MeToo movement?”