The 70th Emmy Awards: More Than a Fashion Statement

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Television’s most prestigious actors and actresses brought the glamour — and a stark political resistance to the 70th Emmy Awards this year. Amongst the best dressed, stars dared to embellish themselves in everything from buttons to ribbons and ensured to mention their cause while on the red carpet. The politicization of award shows has been growing since the early 2000’s, with demonstrations like Bruce Springsteen’s “Bring Em Home” against Bush’s involvement in the Middle East to Pharell’s “hands up don’t shoot” signals.

In 2018, our political climate is filled with sexual misconduct, travel bans, increased ICE detention and fights to keep the DACA, which the Emmy’s brought national attention to. 

Pink Buttons from TIME’S UP

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TIME’S UP, an organization focused on legal action against sexual and emotional abuse of women in the workplace, distributed pink buttons along the red carpet. In harsh black print, the buttons simply stated, “I Believe Christine Blasey Ford” in reference to her going public with her sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. They also gave buttons that stated “I Still Believe Anita Hill,” declaring their continuing support for Hill, who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment in 1991.

Blue Ribbons

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Padma Lakshmi, Evan Rachel Wood, Kathryn Hahn, Riz Ahmed and Alexis Bledel were all seen with bright blue ribbons pinned to their dresses and lapels. The blue ribbon first made its debut at last year’s awards and their meaning is just as significant now. They are in support of the American Civil Liberties Union, whose mission is to protect the liberties of Americans under the Constitution.


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No stranger to the standout suit, RuPaul attended the Emmy’s in a Calvin Klein double-breasted suit printed with Andy Warhol’s “Statue of Liberty.” The suit, accompanied with orange patent leather cowboy boots, pays homage to a symbol of salvation and hope for immigrants during a time where ICE has separated over 2,000 children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Jenifer Lewis

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“Black-ish” star, Jenifer Lewis, offered a contrast against the evening gowns and tuxedos in her custom-made Nike sweater. Lewis’s sweater, complete with a gemstone Nike swoosh, was made in response to the company’s viral advertising campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick. “I’m wearing Nike tonight to tell them how proud I am of them for supporting Colin Kaepernick and his protest against police brutality and racial injustice,” she told CNN.

Sarah Sophie Flicker

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Sarah Sophie Flicker appeared at the Emmy’s with a straightforward message penned on her arm in Sharpie — “Stop Kavanaugh” with the phone number for the Capitol switchboard underneath. “Say something like this: For the Senate Judiciary Committee to move forward with a vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh this week, without pausing for a thorough investigation of the allegations of sexual violence, would be a gross injustice and an insult to women. Stop the vote,” Flicker urges on her Instagram.


The 2018 Primetime Emmy Awards

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