At this year's Emmys, fashion trumped activism on the red carpet

Washington Post

The backdrop to Monday night's Emmy awards ceremony was nothing. but. politics.

As the red carpet rolled out, Twitter feeds were overflowing with news about the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. President Donald Trump was declassifying documents. Emmy hosts Michael Che and Colin Jost had been teasing just how ripped-from-the-cable-chyrons their material might be.

And although there were a few political statements visible among the celebrities posing for cameras and picking up statuettes, unlike at previous high-profile awards shows of the Trump era, there was no nearly mandatory dress code or political cause uniformly on display. (Remember the black dresses and activists-as-dates at the Golden Globes? The ubiquitous blue ACLU ribbons at last year's Oscars? )

Ahead of Monday night's show, Time's Up, the celeb-backed nonprofit dedicated to combating sexual assault and harassment, hinted that its pins could be the evening's It accessory. The group tweeted a photo of pink lapel buttons that read "I Believe Christine Blasey Ford" and another that read "I Still Believe Anita Hill" - references, respectively, to the woman who accused Kavanaugh, and the woman who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of harassment during his 1991 nomination hearings.

But we didn't spot any celebrities wearing the buttons on the red carpet or during the ceremony. A few other political statements came close to trending, though: Stars including Allison Janney, Kumail Nanjiani, Henry Winkler, Matt Iseman, Q'orianka Kilcher and Anthony Carrigan were spotted wearing pins announcing "I am a voter" by the Civic Culture Coalition, a Hollywood-backed group that encourages civic participation. (Janney's was pinned to the corner of her clutch purse.)

Rachel Brosnahan of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel" went beyond a sartorial statement - while accepting her Emmy for best actress in a comedy, she urged viewers to vote. "If you haven't already registered, do it on your cellphone right now," she said. "Vote, show up and bring a friend to the polls."

Others flaunted more of those sky-hued ACLU pins, prompting the free-speech organization to thank its boldfaced supporters, including Padma Lakshmi, Evan Rachel Wood, Alexis Bledel and Edie Falco.

One of the night's most overtly political fashion statements came from "Blackish" actress Jenifer Lewis, whose sweatshirt, emblazoned with a blingy Nike swoosh, was a nod to the brand's new ad campaign starring former San Francisco 49er Colin Kaepernick.

And Sarah Sophie Flicker, the wife of director Jesse Peretz whose show "GLOW" was up for several categories, appeared before the cameras with an unmistakable message. The words "Stop Kavanaugh" were written on her upper right arm in what looked like black marker. The number to the Capitol switchboard was written underneath.

First published in the Washington Post

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