Academy Award winners Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster will present the Best Actress award at the 2018 Oscars, thus replacing last year’s Best Actor winner Casey Affleck. After the Hollywood sexual misconduct scandal erupted last fall with the barrage of sexual harassment and assault allegations against disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences suddenly found itself in the position of making some tough decisions regarding the behavior of its membership. In the case of Weinstein, the Academy’s board of governors expelled the former Weinstein Company boss from its ranks, leading some to wonder whether others accused of similar claims should face a similar fate, if not other penalties.
One person under the spotlight was Affleck, who won the Best Actor Oscar in 2017 for his role in the 2016 drama Manchester by the Sea. In the aftermath of two complaints of sexual harassment filed against Affleck by crew members of the 2010 film I’m Still Here (which were settled out of court), fans started two different petitions that called for the actor to be removed as the presenter of the 2018 Best Actress Oscar. While the Academy didn’t take any action on the matter, Affleck voluntarily withdrew from the 2018 Oscars. Since he won’t be performing the Best Actor’s traditional duty of presenting the award for Best Actress at this year’s awards, the Academy has found two actresses to replace him.
Related: Full List Of 2018 Oscar Nominations
Variety reports that Best Actress winners Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster will hand out the award for Best Actress at the 2018 Oscars this Sunday. Curiously, last year’s Best Actress winner Emma Stone (La La Land), who has been named as a presenter at the ceremony, will not present the Best Actor trophy, either, as she’s been replaced by previous Best Actress winners Helen Mirren (The Queen) and Jane Fonda (Klute, Coming Home).
At least in the case of Affleck, the move to have Foster and Lawrence present the Best Actress Oscar is an apparent nod to the #MeToo movement to call out and prevent sexual harassment and assault in film and television industries, as well as the Time’s Up organization – which will be highlighted specifically during the 2018 Oscar ceremonies – a legal defense fund for victims of sexual harassment, assault, and abuse in the workplace.
Without question, the Academy made a good move by breaking with tradition and having two former Best Actress winners present the Best Actress Oscar with Foster (who won Best Actress twice, for The Accused and Silence of the Lambs) and Lawrence (who won the top award for Silver Linings Playbook). A previous Best Actor winner subbing for Affleck wouldn’t have seemed like an empty gesture, whereas calling upon Foster and Lawrence seems to contribute to a greater cause, even if their preamble to naming the winner doesn’t include any mentions of #MeToo or Time’s Up; their mere presence at the podium is more than enough to get the point across.