Are Red Carpet Questions Sexist? Reese Witherspoon Joins Push to #AskHerMore
By Jackie Willis
Is it sexist to ask a woman what designer she's wearing on a red carpet? What about if that's the only question she hears in interview after interview?
The #AskHerMore initiative insists that women are not being asked anything beyond their style on the red carpet, causing many to wonder if the famous "Who are you wearing?" question will be less common at Sunday's Academy Awards, or banned altogether by some outlets in the future.
#AskHerMore, created by the Representation Project, claims that men are asked more "creative" questions when approached by reporters, while women are only questioned about their clothing and accessories.
This criticism isn't limited to awards shows.
Jennifer Garner recalled at the the Elle Women of Hollywood event this past October that she compared a press junket she did to her husband Ben Affleck's experience doing press for David Fincher's Gone Girl.
"We got home at night and we compared notes," she explained. "And I told him every single person who interviewed me, I mean every single one... asked me, 'How do you balance work and family?' And he said the only thing that people asked him repeatedly was about the tits on the 'Blurred Lines' girl [model Emily Ratajkowski, his co-star in Gone Girl]."
While Garner certainly makes a good point, is it wrong to ask about couture fashion statements on the most stylish nights of the year -- especially when many of the stars have struck major financial deals to promote designers of dresses, jewelry and accessories?
Does it make it any more equitable if red-carpet reporters push male celebrities to talk about how they balance kids and a career, or what their moisturizing routine is?
This #AskHerMore initiative has ignited a trending conversation on social media, with Wild actress Reese Witherspoon supporting the movement, even suggesting other questions she'd liked to be asked on Oscars Sunday.
"This movement #AskHerMore... have you heard of it? It's meant to inspire reporters to ask creative questions on the red carpet," the Oscar nominee captioned her pic of questions on Instagram. "I love the Oscars AND fashion like many of you - and am excited to share #WhoAmIWearing later tonight. (not yet!!) But I'd also love to answer some of these Qs... And hear your suggestions?! (Share em below!) There are so many amazing, talented nominees this year! Let's hear their stories! Spread the word."
Witherspoon suggests questions like "What's the biggest risk you've taken that you feel paid off?" and "What accomplishment are you most proud of?"
During the 2015 Golden Globes, host Amy Poehler's Smart Girls group teamed up with #AskHerMore and sent out a series of question suggestions. "The #RedCarpet is open and we want the media to #AskHerMore! Let's go beyond 'Who are you wearing?' and ask better questions!" Poehler tweeted on Golden Globes night.
ET will be asking celebs to weigh in on this #AskHerMore issue when we hit the Academy Awards red carpet.
We're re-teaming up with Pop TV for the ultimate Oscars red carpet coverage! Viewers can be a part of the star-studded event by posting questions to their favorite celebrities through social media, and also by selecting questions that will be asked during ET Live at the Oscars live show.