Chris Rock’s #AskHerMore joke shows the inanity of politicizing the red carpet

It’s Armani Privé.
It’s Armani Privé.
Image: Invision/AP/Matt Sayles
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For me, awards shows are all about the red carpet parade: Who is dripping in diamonds? Whose spray tan went wrong? Who is Ryan Gosling with? And most importantly, who is that dress by?

The carpet was once an unapologetic display of all that is shallow, shellacked, glamorous, ridiculous, and fun about watching Hollywood from one’s couch. But those days are gone.

Although the dresses this year have been amazing, they were better viewed online. The once gloriously trivial carpet commentary on E!’s Live from the Red Carpet felt flat, lacking in any of the mani-cam silliness of years gone by.

I miss the mani-cam.

Thanks to a campaign called #Askhermore, which condemned as sexist the practice of asking actresses about their clothing on the red carpet, reporters such as the E! network’s Ryan Seacrest—on a show only watched by people who care about red carpet fashion—now treat fashion as an afterthought.

In a joke in his opening monologue at tonight’s Academy Awards, host Chris Rock nailed it: We ask women what they’re wearing on the carpet, and not men, because women may actually have something interesting to say about their clothing.

“Everything is not sexism, everything is not racism,” Rock said. “They ask the men more because they’re all wearing the same outfit. If George Clooney showed up with a lime green tux on and a swan coming out of his ass, someone would go, ‘Whatcha wearing George?’”

To that point: Kevin Hart’s bedazzled tuxedo? Dolce & Gabbana. Thank you, Lara, for asking him more.