"Ready for Hillary", a super PAC urging the former Secretary of State to run for president, tweeted the hashtag #askhermore Sunday night before the Oscars. It's part of a campaign supported by actresses like Reese Witherspoon and Lena Dunham for reporters to ask more than "who are you wearing?" on the red carpet.
The campaign comes on the heels of a re-energized conversation about sexism in Hollywood following revelations from last year's Sony Pictures hack that female actresses were in many instances paid less than their male counterparts.
On E!, Ryan Seacrest seemed to have gotten the message, asking the "who-are-you-wearing" question throughout the night without actually using those exact words in that exact order, and promptly following it up with a similar question for the man. ("Who designed your dress?" he asked Chrissy Teigen before asking her husband, John Legend, what he was wearing). E! also got rid of the mani-cam.
While asking actresses questions about things other than fashion is something we should do a lot more of (why wouldn't you ask everyone on the Golden Globes red carpet last month what they thought about the Sony hack that happened just weeks before?!?), it's not just a question that's completely based in sexism; it's a big part of the fashion industry.
"You might say that awards season is as important, if not even more important, to fashion brands as it is to the entertainment companies that are honored in these ceremonies like the Oscars," Howard Hogan, an attorney and partner in the Washington, D.C.,-based firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "A favorable review for an Oscar gown can be make or break for the designers who outfit them."
— booth1 (@booth1) February 22, 2015
Red carpet fashion can involve contracts and money changing hands. Los Angeles Times reporter Booth Moore tweeted that if we really want to get rid of "who are you wearing," we need to get rid of fashion brands paying actresses to wear their clothes. Without that, the question might not go away. During the 2010 Oscars, Ryan Seacrest abstained from asking about fashion and was criticized by some in the fashion press, and now five years later, and he's back to asking those question again.
But in politics, where politicians don't have to sign contracts about what wear, this campaign is still good news for female candidates. It shows there's a growing interest in ensuring reporters, whether on the red carpet or in Iowa, treat men and women equally.