Cannes: Thierry Frémaux Addresses Harvey Weinstein, Female Filmmakers

Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux was queried this morning over 2018 being the first edition in recent memory that wouldn’t feature Harvey Weinstein in person. Frémaux admitted that the “earthquake” that hit back in October when allegations of sexual harassment began to pour out meant “the world will never be the same again, the Cannes Film Festival either.”
The earthquake described by Frémaux has led the festival to do some self-examining of its own he said, “We…

Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux was queried this morning over 2018 being the first edition in recent memory that wouldn’t feature Harvey Weinstein in person. Frémaux admitted that the "earthquake" that hit back in October when allegations of sexual harassment began to pour out meant "the world will never be the same again, the Cannes Film Festival either." The earthquake described by Frémaux has led the festival to do some self-examining of its own he said, “We…

#NowWeAct: France’s Version Of Time’sUp To Illuminate Eiffel Tower For Women’s Day

Late last month, a group of French actors, directors and producers launched the #MaintenantOnAgit (#NowWeAct) campaign to facilitate access to justice for female victims of violence. Tonight, they’re bringing their message to the Eiffel Tower. In advance and honor of International Women’s Day tomorrow, and in association with France’s Culture Ministry and the Paris Mayor’s office, Gustave Eiffel’s landmark will be lit up with the hashtag and colors of the…

Late last month, a group of French actors, directors and producers launched the #MaintenantOnAgit (#NowWeAct) campaign to facilitate access to justice for female victims of violence. Tonight, they’re bringing their message to the Eiffel Tower. In advance and honor of International Women’s Day tomorrow, and in association with France’s Culture Ministry and the Paris Mayor’s office, Gustave Eiffel’s landmark will be lit up with the hashtag and colors of the…

Showbiz Women Prevail (and Persist) Around the Globe

Let’s face it: It’s not always easy to be a woman in this world, let alone a showbiz leader that happens to be one. There are the usual leadership obstacles to overcome, plus downright sexism and resistance in certain pockets of the planet. Yet, these women persist. In honor of Intl. Women’s Day on March […]

Let’s face it: It’s not always easy to be a woman in this world, let alone a showbiz leader that happens to be one. There are the usual leadership obstacles to overcome, plus downright sexism and resistance in certain pockets of the planet. Yet, these women persist. In honor of Intl. Women’s Day on March […]

‘American Idol’ Stage Manager Defends Ryan Seacrest, Calls ‘BS’ on Accusations

When Ryan Seacrest was accused of sexual abuse by a wardrobe stylist who worked with him at E! News, longtime “American Idol” stage manager Debbie Williams had an immediate reaction: “I call BS on this whole thing.”

Williams worked closely with Seacrest for 15 years as the lead stage manager on “Idol.” She reached out to TheWrap after reading Suzie Hardy’s accusations that Seacrest pursued her, repeatedly embraced her while clad only in his underwear, and grabbed her crotch on more than one occasion. She said the sexual misconduct took place between 2007 and 2013.

On Sunday, some stars on the Oscars red carpet shunned E! News and Seacrest, who denies the accusations.

Also Read: All 5 Best Actress Nominees Skip Ryan Seacrest on Oscar Carpet

“I’ve been in this town since 1976,” Williams told TheWrap. “Worked in a lot of different capacities, been stage-managing for 34 years. I’ve worked with everybody. And never, never in all my 15 years with him, if you told me this story, would I believe you.”

Williams now lives outside of California and opted not to work on the “American Idol” reboot, which Seacrest will host when it launches on March 11. She first encountered Seacrest in 2002, when she was hired as the lead stage manager on “Idol” after decades of working on live shows, including multiple Academy Awards shows.

“I met him when he was 26 years old and we started ‘Idol,’” she said. “I had never seen a more driven, professional kid that age in my life. I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ We didn’t know what the show was going to be at that time — we had no idea. But he had a work ethic like nobody I’d seen in a while. When he came to work, he worked. Whether he was in his dressing room, whether he was onstage, this kid was focused and he was working.

“And he was so focused in the beginning, I almost thought he was a eunuch. I thought, ‘This kid doesn’t care anything about anything but his career.’”

Also Read: Kelly Ripa Offers Ryan Seacrest Public Show of Support: ‘You Are Happiness Wrapped in Chocolate’

Hardy alleges that Seacrest brought her to the “American Idol” set to dress him “on multiple occasions,” which Williams said she never witnessed. “We had a stylist, Miles [Siggins],” she said, adding that she didn’t recall ever seeing Hardy.

Seacrest’s devotion to work, she said, extended to his dressing room, where she never saw him alone with a stylist or anybody else. “I was in his dressing room constantly,” she said. “I thought about it, and there was never a time when there weren’t several people in there. He was always doing five things at once. He wasn’t just getting his makeup on or putting his clothes on — he was making a deal, talking to somebody on the phone.”

“Even when he was getting ready, he went into the other room and changed into his suit, but he was still talking to somebody out here or on the phone with somebody.”

Also Read: Ryan Seacrest Didn’t Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

And Seacrest, she added, was not flirtatious with anyone around him. “Never,” she said firmly. “In fact, there was a moment in the beginning of ‘Idol’ when there might have been someone in his dressing room, doing his makeup or something, who was a little flirtatious with him. He did not like it. He felt uncomfortable with it.” The flirtatious employee, she said, was replaced.

Over the years, Williams said she recognized that Seacrest was not a eunuch, but a man with a distinct preference for young, very skinny women. “Ryan has a certain type,” she said. “He’s had girlfriends over the years, and I’ve always seen them when they’ve come to the show and everything. And [Hardy] doesn’t meet that type, I hate to say that. She doesn’t meet the type.”

If there had been anything untoward in Seacrest’s actions toward women in the 15 years that she worked closely with him, Williams said, she would have known it. “God knows I’ve worked with people who are less than lovely,” she said. “I have been sexually harassed, and I’ve worked with people who I later see things in magazines and go, ‘Oh yeah, I knew that.’

“But that was never Ryan, ever. If I thought for a second, Ooh, I’ve seen things, I would call him out. But nothing. Ever. Nothing. The crew was all talking at the Oscars, and everybody — audio people, camera guys, everybody — went, ‘We have never thought this guy was anything but a class act.”

She said the accusations disturbed her because she’s an avid supporter of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. “I love this movement, I love that people are coming out,” she said. “I love that some people are saying things and other people are losing their power, because that’s legit. But in a case like this, there’s nothing legit about it.

“I’m not the guru of this. I’m just dealing with a human being that I know has integrity. I am a big advocate for women’s rights, but on this one I’m calling foul.”

Seacrest announced last November that E! was investigating an accusation of misconduct against him by “someone that worked … for me nearly a decade ago at E! News.” Seacrest was investigated and cleared by NBCUniversal, which stands by the anchor.

When Variety reported on the details of Hardy’s accusations on Feb. 27, Seacrest vehemently denied them, and his attorney said Hardy requested $15 million for her silence.

Hardy responded that she “was emboldened by the bravery of others to finally and confidentially tell my story to NBC. Ryan elected to take the story public with a false narrative that he was exonerated and the victim of some sort of money grab.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars: Ryan Seacrest Avoids Mentioning Kevin Spacey, #TIMESUP in Christopher Plummer Interview (Video)

Jennifer Lawrence Hedges on Talking to Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars: ‘I Can’t Imagine Him Being Sexual’

Ryan Seacrest’s ‘American Idol’ Gig Still On, ABC Satisfied With E! Sexual Misconduct Investigation

When Ryan Seacrest was accused of sexual abuse by a wardrobe stylist who worked with him at E! News, longtime “American Idol” stage manager Debbie Williams had an immediate reaction: “I call BS on this whole thing.”

Williams worked closely with Seacrest for 15 years as the lead stage manager on “Idol.” She reached out to TheWrap after reading Suzie Hardy’s accusations that Seacrest pursued her, repeatedly embraced her while clad only in his underwear, and grabbed her crotch on more than one occasion. She said the sexual misconduct took place between 2007 and 2013.

On Sunday, some stars on the Oscars red carpet shunned E! News and Seacrest, who denies the accusations.

“I’ve been in this town since 1976,” Williams told TheWrap. “Worked in a lot of different capacities, been stage-managing for 34 years. I’ve worked with everybody. And never, never in all my 15 years with him, if you told me this story, would I believe you.”

Williams now lives outside of California and opted not to work on the “American Idol” reboot, which Seacrest will host when it launches on March 11. She first encountered Seacrest in 2002, when she was hired as the lead stage manager on “Idol” after decades of working on live shows, including multiple Academy Awards shows.

“I met him when he was 26 years old and we started ‘Idol,'” she said. “I had never seen a more driven, professional kid that age in my life. I was like, ‘Who is this guy?’ We didn’t know what the show was going to be at that time — we had no idea. But he had a work ethic like nobody I’d seen in a while. When he came to work, he worked. Whether he was in his dressing room, whether he was onstage, this kid was focused and he was working.

“And he was so focused in the beginning, I almost thought he was a eunuch. I thought, ‘This kid doesn’t care anything about anything but his career.'”

Hardy alleges that Seacrest brought her to the “American Idol” set to dress him “on multiple occasions,” which Williams said she never witnessed. “We had a stylist, Miles [Siggins],” she said, adding that she didn’t recall ever seeing Hardy.

Seacrest’s devotion to work, she said, extended to his dressing room, where she never saw him alone with a stylist or anybody else. “I was in his dressing room constantly,” she said. “I thought about it, and there was never a time when there weren’t several people in there. He was always doing five things at once. He wasn’t just getting his makeup on or putting his clothes on — he was making a deal, talking to somebody on the phone.”

“Even when he was getting ready, he went into the other room and changed into his suit, but he was still talking to somebody out here or on the phone with somebody.”

And Seacrest, she added, was not flirtatious with anyone around him. “Never,” she said firmly. “In fact, there was a moment in the beginning of ‘Idol’ when there might have been someone in his dressing room, doing his makeup or something, who was a little flirtatious with him. He did not like it. He felt uncomfortable with it.” The flirtatious employee, she said, was replaced.

Over the years, Williams said she recognized that Seacrest was not a eunuch, but a man with a distinct preference for young, very skinny women. “Ryan has a certain type,” she said. “He’s had girlfriends over the years, and I’ve always seen them when they’ve come to the show and everything. And [Hardy] doesn’t meet that type, I hate to say that. She doesn’t meet the type.”

If there had been anything untoward in Seacrest’s actions toward women in the 15 years that she worked closely with him, Williams said, she would have known it. “God knows I’ve worked with people who are less than lovely,” she said. “I have been sexually harassed, and I’ve worked with people who I later see things in magazines and go, ‘Oh yeah, I knew that.’

“But that was never Ryan, ever. If I thought for a second, Ooh, I’ve seen things, I would call him out. But nothing. Ever. Nothing. The crew was all talking at the Oscars, and everybody — audio people, camera guys, everybody — went, ‘We have never thought this guy was anything but a class act.”

She said the accusations disturbed her because she’s an avid supporter of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. “I love this movement, I love that people are coming out,” she said. “I love that some people are saying things and other people are losing their power, because that’s legit. But in a case like this, there’s nothing legit about it.

“I’m not the guru of this. I’m just dealing with a human being that I know has integrity. I am a big advocate for women’s rights, but on this one I’m calling foul.”

Seacrest announced last November that E! was investigating an accusation of misconduct against him by “someone that worked … for me nearly a decade ago at E! News.” Seacrest was investigated and cleared by NBCUniversal, which stands by the anchor.

When Variety reported on the details of Hardy’s accusations on Feb. 27, Seacrest vehemently denied them, and his attorney said Hardy requested $15 million for her silence.

Hardy responded that she “was emboldened by the bravery of others to finally and confidentially tell my story to NBC. Ryan elected to take the story public with a false narrative that he was exonerated and the victim of some sort of money grab.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars: Ryan Seacrest Avoids Mentioning Kevin Spacey, #TIMESUP in Christopher Plummer Interview (Video)

Jennifer Lawrence Hedges on Talking to Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars: 'I Can't Imagine Him Being Sexual'

Ryan Seacrest's 'American Idol' Gig Still On, ABC Satisfied With E! Sexual Misconduct Investigation

Oscars: What Is an ‘Inclusion Rider,’ That Thing Frances McDormand Mentioned in Her Acceptance Speech?

Frances McDormand gave a powerful acceptance speech at the 90th Academy Awards when she won the Oscar for Best Actress, asking all the women nominees at the awards show to stand and be recognized.

McDormand ended the speech with something a little bit confusing, though. “Two words, ladies and gentlemen: Inclusion rider,” she said.

If you don’t work in Hollywood, though, those two words might not make a lot of sense. What exactly is an “inclusion rider?”

Also Read: Ryan Seacrest Didn’t Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

In keeping with McDormand’s speech and the #MeToo and #TIMESUP movements taking place in Hollywood right now, an inclusion rider people working in film can include in their contracts. The clause can be added to contracts for actors and others working on a movie, requiring that the movie’s producers hire a diverse cast and crew. If the movie wasn’t diverse, it would give the actor a legal reason to back out of the contract — meaning the rider could have a serious effect on all the hiring practices on a film.

Adding the rider to contracts is a way that actors, directors and other people in high demand working on movies can use that power to advocate for diversity throughout the production.

While Hollywood has made strides forward, the industry still struggles to achieve diversity. At the Oscars, more than five times more men than women won awards, for instance — that’s 33 men taking home Academy Awards, and just six women.

Also Read: Oscars: Jordan Peele Becomes First African-American Winner for Best Original Screenplay

The Oscars were also criticized in the past for including a vast majority more white nominees than people of color, which gave rise to the social media hashtag “#OscarsSoWhite in 2015, when all the actor nominees were white. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself also has been criticized in the past for being mostly made up of older white men.

McDormand, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” advocated for more celebrities to make use of the rider as Hollywood has seen the rise of the #MeToo and #TIMESUP movements. Both rose as response to accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful men in Hollywood and beyond, as well as in answer to sexist hiring and pay practices against women.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars: Jordan Peele Becomes First African-American Winner for Best Original Screenplay

Every Black Director Nominated for an Oscar, From John Singleton to Jordan Peele (Photos)

Ryan Seacrest Didn’t Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

Oscars: Ryan Seacrest Avoids Mentioning Kevin Spacey, #TIMESUP in Christopher Plummer Interview (Video)

Oscars: Guillermo del Toro is Fourth Mexican-Born Best Director in 5 Years

Frances McDormand gave a powerful acceptance speech at the 90th Academy Awards when she won the Oscar for Best Actress, asking all the women nominees at the awards show to stand and be recognized.

McDormand ended the speech with something a little bit confusing, though. “Two words, ladies and gentlemen: Inclusion rider,” she said.

If you don’t work in Hollywood, though, those two words might not make a lot of sense. What exactly is an “inclusion rider?”

In keeping with McDormand’s speech and the #MeToo and #TIMESUP movements taking place in Hollywood right now, an inclusion rider people working in film can include in their contracts. The clause can be added to contracts for actors and others working on a movie, requiring that the movie’s producers hire a diverse cast and crew. If the movie wasn’t diverse, it would give the actor a legal reason to back out of the contract — meaning the rider could have a serious effect on all the hiring practices on a film.

Adding the rider to contracts is a way that actors, directors and other people in high demand working on movies can use that power to advocate for diversity throughout the production.

While Hollywood has made strides forward, the industry still struggles to achieve diversity. At the Oscars, more than five times more men than women won awards, for instance — that’s 33 men taking home Academy Awards, and just six women.

The Oscars were also criticized in the past for including a vast majority more white nominees than people of color, which gave rise to the social media hashtag “#OscarsSoWhite in 2015, when all the actor nominees were white. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences itself also has been criticized in the past for being mostly made up of older white men.

McDormand, who won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” advocated for more celebrities to make use of the rider as Hollywood has seen the rise of the #MeToo and #TIMESUP movements. Both rose as response to accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful men in Hollywood and beyond, as well as in answer to sexist hiring and pay practices against women.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars: Jordan Peele Becomes First African-American Winner for Best Original Screenplay

Every Black Director Nominated for an Oscar, From John Singleton to Jordan Peele (Photos)

Ryan Seacrest Didn't Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

Oscars: Ryan Seacrest Avoids Mentioning Kevin Spacey, #TIMESUP in Christopher Plummer Interview (Video)

Oscars: Guillermo del Toro is Fourth Mexican-Born Best Director in 5 Years

Oscars: Ashley Judd Wears Custom Diamond Ring to Support Time’s Up

Ashley Judd donned a ring on the 2018 Oscar red carpet specially made to support the Time’s Up movement. Designed by Zameer Kassan, the ring featured black diamonds, which Judd said were meant to represent the movement. The coloring is in line with previous Time’s Up-related fashion at past award shows, for which stars wore […]

Ashley Judd donned a ring on the 2018 Oscar red carpet specially made to support the Time’s Up movement. Designed by Zameer Kassan, the ring featured black diamonds, which Judd said were meant to represent the movement. The coloring is in line with previous Time’s Up-related fashion at past award shows, for which stars wore […]

Oscars: Jimmy Kimmel Says Penis-Free Oscar Statue Is Hollywood’s Ideal Man

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel went all in on the #MeToo movement in his opening monologue, saying that if Hollywood can stop harassing women, they “will only have to deal with harassment all the time in every other place they go.”

Kimmel also pointed to a massive Oscar statuette on the stage and said he was Hollywood’s perfect man.

“Keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and, most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations,” the host joked.

Also Read: Oscars: The Complete List of Winners and Nominees (Updating Live)

“Here’s how clueless Hollywood is about women: We made a movie called ‘What Women Want’ and it starred Mel Gibson,” Kimmel added.

He pointed to Best Picture nominee “The Shape of Water,” saying it represented “the year men screwed up so baldly women starting dating fish.”

Kimmel also noted that the only person besides Harvey Weinstein to be kicked out of the Academy was someone who shared for-your-consideration screeners of films that circulate among Oscar voters.

Also Read: Ryan Seacrest Didn’t Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

He started by joking about last year’s epic mishap, in which “La La Land” was erroneously named Best Picture instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.” He advised people named as winners: “Don’t get up right away.”

Hosting for the second consecutive year, Kimmel knew going into the ceremony that he would need to walk a careful balance between acknowledging the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements without letting them overshadow the show.

He also had his critics: The Atlantic ran a story heading into Oscar weekend noting the “thoroughly modern irony” that years ago, Kimmel hosted Comedy Central’s “The Man Show.”

Also Read: All 5 Best Actress Nominees Skip Ryan Seacrest on Oscar Carpet

“The host who will set the tone for the #MeToo Oscars got his start on a show that gleefully ogled women,” the story noted.

Sunday’s show began with a 1940s newsreel-style opening that included black-and-white footage of this year’s Oscars attendees, accompanied by an old-timer voiceover.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars: Ryan Seacrest Avoids Mentioning Kevin Spacey, #TIMESUP in Christopher Plummer Interview (Video)

Ryan Seacrest Didn’t Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

All 5 Best Actress Nominees Skip Ryan Seacrest on Oscar Carpet

Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel went all in on the #MeToo movement in his opening monologue, saying that if Hollywood can stop harassing women, they “will only have to deal with harassment all the time in every other place they go.”

Kimmel also pointed to a massive Oscar statuette on the stage and said he was Hollywood’s perfect man.

“Keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and, most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statue of limitations,” the host joked.

“Here’s how clueless Hollywood is about women: We made a movie called ‘What Women Want’ and it starred Mel Gibson,” Kimmel added.

He pointed to Best Picture nominee “The Shape of Water,” saying it represented “the year men screwed up so baldly women starting dating fish.”

Kimmel also noted that the only person besides Harvey Weinstein to be kicked out of the Academy was someone who shared for-your-consideration screeners of films that circulate among Oscar voters.

He started by joking about last year’s epic mishap, in which “La La Land” was erroneously named Best Picture instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.” He advised people named as winners: “Don’t get up right away.”

Hosting for the second consecutive year, Kimmel knew going into the ceremony that he would need to walk a careful balance between acknowledging the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements without letting them overshadow the show.

He also had his critics: The Atlantic ran a story heading into Oscar weekend noting the “thoroughly modern irony” that years ago, Kimmel hosted Comedy Central’s “The Man Show.”

“The host who will set the tone for the #MeToo Oscars got his start on a show that gleefully ogled women,” the story noted.

Sunday’s show began with a 1940s newsreel-style opening that included black-and-white footage of this year’s Oscars attendees, accompanied by an old-timer voiceover.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Oscars: Ryan Seacrest Avoids Mentioning Kevin Spacey, #TIMESUP in Christopher Plummer Interview (Video)

Ryan Seacrest Didn't Ask a Single #MeToo or #TIMESUP Question on Oscars Red Carpet

All 5 Best Actress Nominees Skip Ryan Seacrest on Oscar Carpet