Brie Larson stood up for an important cause during the 89th Oscars and created ripples in Hollywood with just a single gesture, without even uttering a word.
Brie Larson is renowned for uninhibitedly taking a political stance on a wide range of issues. However, her activism is not limited to posting tweets, like many other celebrities. The actress ensures that her politics rings loud and clear through her behaviour wherever she goes, even at the Oscars.
- Brie Larson’s relentless political activism
- Brie Larson’s unforgettable actions at the Oscars
ACTIVIST BRIE LARSON
Brie Larson has been at the forefront of championing the cause of sexual harassment and women empowerment in Hollywood. In the 2015 film ‘Room’, the actress played the role of a kidnapped woman who was compelled to have her abuser’s child after being raped. The film is about overcoming trauma and reclaiming your life, as it happens with many women who undergo sexual abuse.
Larson deservedly won an Academy Award for her heart-rendering performance as a survivor of sexual abuse. But the actress did not stop there. In 2018, she collaborated with around 300 women and contributed to the establishment of the Time’s Up charity that enables victims of sexual harassment to fight and stand on their feet.
To further the cause of women empowerment, the actress has also mandated an inclusion rider in her contracts. This inclusion rider asks for fair representation of women and minorities, in terms of their hiring, for the projects she is working on.
To add to her efforts, Brie Larson also showed solidarity with women who underwent sexual assault at the 88th Oscars in 2016, during which she also won her award for Best Actress. The women had gathered on the stage while Lady Gaga performed ‘Till it Happens to You’, a heart-breaking song on surviving sexual assault. Larson, unfairly infamous for her arrogance, displayed commendable behaviour at the Oscars and hugged all these women as they exited the stage.
REBEL WITH A CAUSE
The Oscars serve as a platform where artists from the industry support each other’s craft. However, Brie Larson conveyed at the Oscars that she will not follow this norm to cheer someone who is in the wrong.
As is the ceremony, Brie Larson, the winner of Best Actress in 2016, had to present the award for Best Actor the next year. During the 2017 Oscars, she gracefully announced that Casey Affleck won the award of Best Actor for ‘Manchester by the Sea’. She even warmly welcomed him on the stage and reciprocated when Affleck pulled her in for a hug.
However, as Affleck was giving his acceptance speech, the actress just stood there smiling and did not clap for him, while he received a standing ovation from the crowd. It is quite unusual for presenters to withhold applause. Therefore, Brie Larson’s gesture at the 2017 Oscars can be mistaken for arrogance.
However, the unapologetic gesture is not a sign of snootiness, a trait Larson has come to be known by, but of resistance. Brie Larson did not clap for Casey Affleck because she did not want to support a man who has been accused of sexual harassment by his co-workers.
In 2010, two of Casey Affleck’s female colleagues on the film ‘I’m Still Here’ had accused him of conducting and enabling sexual harassment. One of them was Magdalena Gorka, the film’s cinematographer, who claimed that Affleck brought emotional abuse on her and harassed her routinely.
The second woman to come forward was Amanda White, a producer on the film. White claimed that Affleck made unsolicited advances towards her and even threatened a breach of her contract terms. Brie Larson’s audacious behaviour was a result of standing up with the distressed women and not supporting an alleged harasser Casey Affleck.
‘The Marvels’ actress’ stance at the Oscars can be easily taken for arrogance but it became a hallmark of her activism and brave spirit. While entire Hollywood cheered for Casey Affleck, the actress rebelled and refused to applaud a person accused of sexual misconduct.
In a conversation with “Variety”, Brie Larson explained her behaviour by mentioning,
“I think that whatever it was that I did onstage kind of spoke for itself. I’ve said all that I need to say about that topic”.
Clearly, Brie Larson spoke a lot without even uttering a word through her audacious gesture at the Oscars. In doing so, she also taught a lesson to Hollywood to stand up for what is right rather than blindly adulating influential names, especially men.
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