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Thanks to the viral campaign to #AskHerMore, asking actresses about their red carpet fashion choices has come to be seen as a reductive waste of airtime when Ryan Seacrest or Giuliana Rancic could be focusing on matters of substance rather than what actresses are wearing.
Yet at the 2017 Oscars, the American Civil Liberties Union gave the red carpet reporters an accessory that was actually worth talking about. As part of its newly-launched campaign called “Stand with ACLU,” the civil rights group has reached out to celebrities (reportedly, every major nominee was contacted) to wear blue ribbons as a symbol of solidarity.
As the Oscars red carpet gets underway, Loving star Ruth Negga has already been spotted with one on her red Valentino dress, while Lin-Manuel Miranda has one on his lapel and Karlie Kloss pinned hers on her hip.
The ACLU confirmed it’s behind the accessory on Twitter, encouraging conversation with tweets like “Who ever thought we’d be fashion icons?”
But the real question is whether the conversation will make it to the actual red carpet, when E! and ABC’s reporters have their precious few minutes of conversation with each star.
While not every dress or shoe or necklace carries deeper meaning, fashion and accessories can be used to send a stronger message, and the ACLU ribbons are a perfect example of an accessory worth talking about.
The ACLU has become much more of a household name in 2017. It brought in $24.1 million in online donations over a single weekend in January in response to fears over the Trump administration’s actions. From anti-Semitism to immigrant rights to racial justice, there are few important issues related to civil liberties the ACLU doesn’t tackle.
So far, those issues haven’t been hot topics in Oscars red carpet conversation, save for a brief conversation with Miranda. The awards show audience may yet have to wait for reporters to ask the stars more.