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Critics’ Choice Awards addresses sexual misconduct reckoning head on – Entertainment


Hollywood’s self-celebratory season is continuing with the Critics’ Choice Awards Thursday night.

Actor Olivia Munn is hosting the event at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., where a cast of celebrity presenters will announce film and TV critics’ picks for the best work of 2017.

Guillermo del Toro’s Cold War fantasy romance The Shape of Water leads all nominees with 14 bids. It’s up for best picture, along with The Big Sick, Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, The Florida Project, Get Out, Lady Bird, The Post and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

The top TV nominee is Feud: Bette and Joan with six nods. Other leading contenders include Big Little Lies and Fargo.

This Is Us, The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, Game of Thrones, The Crown and American Gods are up for best drama series. Competing in the comedy category are: black-ish, The Big Bang Theory, GLOW, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Modern Family and Patriot.

23rd Annual Critics' Choice Awards - Show

Mayim Bialik accepts the award for best supporting actress in a comedy series for The Big Bang Theory at the 23rd annual Critics’ Choice Awards at the Barker Hangar. (Chris Pizzello/Associated Press)

Chris Hemsworth, Kaley Cuoco, Anthony Anderson, Nick Jonas, Kate Bosworth and Alison Brie are among the stars set to present at the ceremony, which will be broadcast on the CW network.

The 23rd annual Critics’ Choice Awards will also feature the second annual #SeeHer award, which recognizes an individual for challenging gender stereotypes. Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot will accept the award from director Patty Jenkins.

Speaking out about sexual misconduct

Munn says hosting a Hollywood awards show is nothing compared to speaking out about sexual misconduct.

In an interview to discuss her preparations for the show, the 37-year-old actor instead addressed the ongoing sexual misconduct reckoning in the entertainment industry. Munn has publicly accused director Brett Ratner of misconduct and harassment and is an outspoken critic of a Hollywood power structure she says rewards abusers and silences victims.


“Hosting an awards show pales in comparison to the legal and illegal threats that I’ve had to [face] and that so many other women who have spoken out have had to go through,” Munn said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “It’s not as easy to name names as people think. And when you go out publicly and do that, as we know with one of Brett Ratner’s accusers, there’s defamation lawsuits that come forward.

‘Naming names and calling out people — it’s not an easy thing to do, and it’s not something people can do flippantly… So I think the real hard part during this time is definitely not hosting an awards show,’
– Olivia Munn, Critics’ Choice Awards host

“Naming names and calling out people — it’s not an easy thing to do, and it’s not something people can do flippantly… So I think the real hard part during this time is definitely not hosting an awards show. Although it is work, and you’re wanting to put on a good show and all that; but I’ve been through scarier things.”

The Broadcast Film Critics Association and Broadcast Television Journalists Association announced on Jan. 3 that Munn would host their annual gala.

Asked if being tapped to host the Critics’ Choice ceremony feels like an endorsement of her outspokenness, Munn said she’s felt the greatest support from the Hollywood community and the public.

“If it wasn’t for the public outrage that created the waves of shame that crashed down on all the abusers, we wouldn’t be in the position we are now where there’s actually change being made and consequences,” she said.

‘Nobody cared back then’

Munn wrote about her encounters with sexual misconduct in Hollywood in her 2010 book, Suck it, Wonder Woman, but she said, “nobody cared back then.”

The biggest shift is that now accusers are being believed, she said. But it’s too late for some victims whose experiences ultimately forced them from the industry.

“I understand why they’re pissed off,” Munn said.

So with such a conversation unfolding in the industry and across culture, do film and TV awards even matter?

Yes, Munn said, because awards often lead to raises for people who are excelling at the work they love.

“These awards are time for people to be celebrated for their work, and also these awards are kind of like promotions for people: everyone can get more money for having awards to their name,” she said.

“I don’t think we stop the business because this is happening. What I really appreciate is the swift action that does take place when somebody is called out for their abuses — that means many people do care, and they hear it. For the most part, we all want to keep working and we all love the business.”



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