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Hollywood's Biggest Night; Oscars Special Coverage. Aired 12-1a ET

Aired March 5, 2018 - 00:00   ET


[00:00:13] I'm Natalie Allen with our top stories on CNN.

North Korea says calls for it to abandon its nuclear program are beyond ridiculous. That's in response to U.S. President Donald Trump who said Saturday Pyongyang wanted to talk but it would have to de- nuke.

This comes as South Korea gets ready to send a delegation to the North. It may discuss direct dialogue between the U.S. and North Korea.

China says it plans to boost its military spending by 8 percent this year. The amount from it comes as the country convenes its 13th National People's Congress. Beijing says it will spend about $175 billion, part of the drive to modernize its armed forces.

No outright winner is expected in Italy's general election. Exit polls show that center right coalition backed by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi could gain the most seats. That followed by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement. Final results are expected Monday.

Accusers of Vatican Treasurer Cardinal George Pell are set to testify in a hearing that began Monday at a court in Australia. He is facing multiple charges of what's been called historical sex assault offices from multiple complainants. He strongly denies all the allegations.

I'm Natalie Allen.

The Oscars just concluded so stay with CNN as we bring you our special on Hollywood's biggest night with John Vause and Isha Sesay, live in L.A.


Great to have you with us -- everybody, I'm John Vause.


The 90th Academy Awards have just wrapped up and it was a big night for Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water". The show also celebrated the long legacy of the Oscars and look toward a future of greater inclusion and diversity. Host Jimmy Kimmel, second time for him, set the tone early calling out sexism and the sexual harassment scandals which have plagued the industry. Kimmel and some of the presenters also applauded the #metoo campaign and other movements fighting for equal rights for women and minorities.

SESAY: Well, the night's message was largely about moving the industry forward to showcase under-represented voices and story tellers.

We have a very big couple of hours ahead. So let's introduce our panel right now. We have TV and film journalist Sandro Monetti, senior reporter for the "Hollywood Reporter" Rebecca Sun. Sorry -- you're next to him -- Rebecca. And also with us actress Jessica Barth (ph).

SESAY: And also staying on this side, we have entertainment journalist --

VAUSE: I have more talent.

SESAY: -- Segun Oduolowu; the host of Rotten Tomatoes Hal Sparks; plus comedian, actor and director (INAUDIBLE); style expert George Kotsiopoulos. And also in the house and we see there at the governor's ball with us here in L.A. we've got CNN's --

VAUSE: Well, she was standing by and --

SESAY: And she disappeared.

VAUSE: Just lost her for a second. Ok. So while we try to get Stephanie back, let's just have a bit of a recap of the night --

SESAY: We have a wrap.

VAUSE: -- because "Shape of Water", the sea creature love story is the one which has walked away with best picture and best director. So Sandro -- I would like to start with you. What was that movie about because that was -- I don't really know?

SANDRO MONETTI, TV AND FILM JOURNALIST: Well, let me explain, you've seen "Beauty and the Beast", this was "Beauty and the Fish" -- the same concept.

It's a fable. It's Guillermo del Toro. I think there's one word that links all his movies, "strange". And the strangest of all of all of them comes through in this craziest of all Oscar seasons when for ones it wasn't predictable. The storyline which is least predictable of all goes and takes it all.

SESAY: Rebecca Sun -- what do you make of it? Was your heart with "The Shape of Water"?

REBECCA SUN, "HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: I really like "Shape of Water a lot". My heart, you know, I loved "Get Out". I thought that was -- for me the best picture of 2017. But I can't be mad at "The Shape of Water", honestly. Like you said it's very strange, it's eccentric, which is I guess a good word for these times.

But it's a very sweet and good-natured love story. You know, it's sort of about finding two souls, two sort of unconventional outsiders.


SUN: I wouldn't recommend it in real life but, you know.

SESAY: I loved it. I absolutely loved it.

Jessica -- the other woman on the panel, what did you think? Finding love in strange places?

JESSICA BARTH, ACTRESS: Yes. No, I tried. I have to be honest. I tried four different times to watch the movie. And you know, I have three children so watching movies is a feat unto itself.

But I did try three different times to watch this movie and I couldn't get through it. Over the weekend, I was in a hotel and I paid $20 for this movie. I was like I have to see this movie. It's going to win best picture, I have to watch and I fell asleep.

[00:05:00] VAUSE: You can claim that back.

Stephanie is now with us at the Governor's Ball. So let's get to Stephanie Elam now for essentially a wrap up of everything that happened during the ceremony for all the highlights and the lowlights.

Stephanie -- we're glad you're with us. So take us through. What have you got?

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I'm happy to be with you -- John and Isha. And you know, you really have to take a look.

There was some history made during this broadcast tonight. We definitely saw that. And we saw it from Guillermo del Toro. I mean just many moments that we can talk about. Well, let's just talk about Guillermo del Toro right now because of the fact that he won for directing "The Shape of Water" which you were just speaking about.

But also, you know, he has always taken on these projects where there's so much fantasy involved and romanticism. But he also talked about the future and something he mentioned in his win there for "The Shape of Water". Take a listen to what he says.


GUILLERMO DEL TORO, DIRECTOR: I want to dedicate this to every young filmmaker. The youth that is showing us how things are going. Really they are in every country in the world.

And I was a kid and (INAUDIBLE) with movies. And growing up in Mexico I thought this could never happen. It happens. And I want to tell you everyone that is dreaming of a (INAUDIBLE) of using the genre of fantasy to tell the stories about the things that are real in the world today, you can do it. This is a door, kick it open and come in. (END VIDEO CLIP)

ELAM: And he's talking about kicking the door open and coming in. Well, guess who was also speaking about that -- Frances McDormand. She has been the frontrunner all awards season. She has won for her role in "Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri".

All awards she had -- so she was pretty much a shoo-in to win for lead actress and she did tonight. But she took her time there on the stage, not to talk so much about her but to talk about women. Take a listen.


FRANCES MCDORMAND, ACTRESS: If I may be so honored to have all the female nominees in every category stand with me in this room tonight. The actors -- Meryl, if you do it everybody else will -- come in. The filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographer, the composers, the songwriters, the designers -- come on.

Ok -- look around everybody. Look around ladies and gentlemen because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.


ELAM: So she took that moment to say if you really are serious about changing the way things are done in Hollywood, note the women that are here that are making projects come to life.

You saw that happen. You saw also for best actor -- again all along awards season, we've seen Gary Oldman win for his portrayal in "The Darkest Hour". What was interesting though is that he took a moment to thank another very powerful woman in his life, his mother who he said is 99 years old. Take a listen to what he said.


GARY OLDMAN, ACTOR: I would like to thank my mother who is older than the Oscar. She is 99 years young next birthday. And she's watching the ceremony from the comfort of her sofa. I say to my mother thank you for your love and support.


ELAM: And of course, you can't talk about the Oscars without talking about the host Jimmy Kimmel -- Isha and John, who obviously made reference to the #metoo movement, made reference to the statue and talking about his lack of anatomy and how he felt like the statue of restraint. He did make several jokes along the way but also not completely moving away from the big night, the industry's biggest night here and still having some fun going to a theater next door and surprising those folks who are watching a screening of "A Wrinkle in Time" and showing them there's a bunch of celebrities coming in there to give them candy.

So still some fun. Jimmy Kimmel-like tricks, but still didn't shy away from some of the harder topics either.

SESAY: Stephanie -- I'm glad you brought that up, the whole thing about the tone of the show because I wanted to ask you as someone who has covered the Oscars for a number of years now. Does it feel different to you tonight compared to past nights considering how socially conscious the show was?

ELAM: Yes, I have to say, Isha, the award season as a whole has felt different to me than it has previously because you could feel there is a difference and it wasn't something that just happened at one awards show and wasn't there, the next one. It's made its way throughout the entire conversation.

[00:10:02] It feels different. People are actually coming out with names and are also coming out with their own name and saying their own stories, not just saying anonymous stories. So it has felt different and when I've talked to celebrities on the red carpet they're like we do believe it's different but they're holding their breath. It's almost like they don't want to believe it just yet but they're saying they do believe that a real change has occurred here, a seismic shift in Hollywood.

SESAY: Well, we shall see. Time will tell in terms of, you know, women leading movies, in terms of women projects being funded. We shall see in the months ahead.

Stephanie Elam at the Governor's Ball here in L.A. Stephanie -- appreciate it. We'll check in with you later.

VAUSE: Thank you -- Steph.

Ok. So Segun -- just to you, to pick up on that last point. Yes, I guess there was a lot of significance here from a social point of view and from sort of rights (ph) moving the ball forward. But the show itself, it just felt really boring. It felt really staid and dull.

SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: I would agree with you. I felt that it was bland. This should have been #Oscarssobland.


ODUOLOWU: And to Sandro's point about "Shape of Water", I'm with Jessica. I didn't like it. I'm sorry. And I will raise you your "Beauty and the Fish" and go "Grinding Nemo".

SESAY: Oh no.

ODUOLOWU: And I didn't need it but John -- what you're saying is accurate. I think we all knew going in who was going to win. There were no surprises. And honestly, watching them parade like lady after lady, face after face, to me it felt like pandering.

I'm a Chadwick Boseman fan but that was black pandering; that wasn't "Black Panther". But I didn't need all of that on there. Like if you want to really show that steps are being taken then apologize for Patty Jenkins and "Wonder Woman" not being there. Don't have Gal Gadot in a stunt with, you know, candy or being a presenter.

If you want to show that things are really moving, explain why Dee Rees from "Mudbound" wasn't there. Like talk about why, you know, Kathryn Bigelow for "Detroit" wasn't there.

Like there are reasons and there are really talented women that should have been there, should have been given their opportunity and worked.

SESAY: Bering in mind that Rebecca Sun has been "Hollywood Reporter's" lead person on the whole #metoo movement, I know you're glad that all the stories are coming to the fore. What do you make of that point? The pandering and the kind of -- I guess we can look at the moment between Annabella Sciorra coming out and Ashley Judd. I mean what did you make of those pointed moments?

SUN: Sure. I mean that was a moment that the #timesup organizers worked with Oscar producers to do and to create. And I mean I think it's -- I understand what you're saying and I think there's always room to do more and to sort of include more people.

But at the same time, you know, where the Academy sits really is sort of -- it's literally the tip of the iceberg of what happens in the whole industry. And so the academy is the most visible part of Hollywood but it doesn't necessarily represent all of Hollywood.

And in fact when I spoke with the #timesup organizers last week they really wanted to make sure that people understood what we're doing -- 99 percent of what we do is not at the awards show, you know.


SESAY: It's not about celebrities. It's about people.

SUN: Right, exactly. And so we don't want to make it seem like we're only about Hollywood and we're only about, you know, fixing what's on- screen or fixing what's happening in our own industry you know.

I thought it was nice that, you know, they did have the three women, you know, who are on stage. Annabella Sciorra, Ashley Judd and Salma Hayek because they were three of the women who really were the first, and gave very, very personal accounts of what had happened to them.

And so I think that was appropriate. They weren't at the Golden Globes, you know. I think Annabella said she wasn't even invited. And so it was nice to have that correction there.

VAUSE: I just want to get to Hal and George -- get them into this conversation, in particularly about, you know -- Hal, in particular Jimmy Kimmel, the host here. It seemed like he was walking this very fine line when it came to the comedy. He wanted to be funny but he also wanted to be respectful. And it seemed to be --


HAL SPARKS, ROTTEN TOMATOES: And those two don't make a good match.

VAUSE: Exactly.

SPARKS: I mean that's the difficult thing because the issue you always have with the concept of joking about anything is that there is a belief system that you can't joke about certain topics. That's clearly not true. It's just that the scaffolding and the strength of the jokes that you're presenting have to be equal to the task of lifting the weight of whatever you're discussing.

And sexual harassment in Hollywood being discussed and joked about in a room full of those very people who worked with these people and in some cases covered for these people is a very awkward space to be in. You can't tiptoe.

It is either time for ignoring it or sort of a Ricky Gervais approach. You just kind of have to take it by the throat or sort of have a dignified removal from the space. You can't halfway through it.

[00:14:58] And unfortunately the Oscars are sort of in the dignity of the space that they're trying to create -- and that's what it's been for years -- is there's sort of the -- they're the senate to the Golden Globe's house as it were.

And so they have to have a level of comity that eventually makes stuff slightly more boring. Although I do like the grandeur and I don't mind when it's boring because I think we need a little boring in this world.

SESAY: Well, let's ask George --

SPARKS: By the way, I like "Shape of Water". I think it's good that a true story finally made it.


SPARKS: No, not really.

SESAY: George -- let me ask you to say things here. Did you think it was boring show? Did you think it played itself a little too safe?

GEORGE KOTSIOPOULOS, STYLE EXPERT: I had fund -- you know, I liked the movie segment where they were passing out candy. I thought that was really fun to bring the fans in there.

Think from a fashion point of view, I think that it was a little bit boring. I mean on one hand there were people who took chances like your favorite dress, Andra Day. I know that you loved her dress, didn't you?

But you know, it's just -- I think that -- I wish there was more -- like Salma Hayek I thought looked amazing. And that's also a very polarizing dress. But I wish there was more of that because it should be about women wanting to be able to wear whatever the heck they want and not being afraid that anyone's going to judge them or, you know -- there's people that are on television.

SPARKS: But isn't that a contra indication though. Isn't the whole point of wearing anything you want has to invite judgment? I mean I think -- we all think back to the Bjork moment of her wearing a dead goose. It's sort of the apex of the "I don't give a crap what you think about my outfit" moment and the excitement of --


SPARKS: -- you know what I mean. At a certain point it was --

KOTSIOPOULOS: What's the point of freedom of expression if you can't take the heat about it? And I tied my own bow tie for the record. I just want to say that I did my part.

VAUSE: #metoo.

SPARKS: I'm not joining you on that. I'm not. I'm not at all.

KOTSIOPOULOS: But we're still talking about --

SESAY: No. No. You're on your own with that one.

VAUSE: Thank you friend. I appreciate the support.

SPARKS: #nope.

VAUSE: #don't.

Ok. Before the Oscars we asked everybody here to actually put down, you know, the winners in each category. So let's take a look right now at what everybody, you know, what their picks were for best picture.

So here we have -- I can't read that. We've got Hal Sandro and George there -- All "Shape of Water".

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What a daring --

VAUSE: There we go.

ODUOLOWU: Let's take Hollywood loving itself even more.

VAUSE: Yes. Jessica went for --

SESAY: Jessica and Segun both went for --

ODUOLOWU: "Three Billboards".

SESAY: "Three Billboards".



KOTSIOPOULOS: For the record that was my prediction of what would win, not what deserved to win. And I actually felt "Phantom Thread" this year. So there you go.


KOTSIOPOULOS: I did. I absolutely did.


VAUSE: Exactly.

And Sandro -- you said to me a month ago that "Get Out" would win. But you changed your tune.

MONETTI: Because momentum shifts in Hollywood -- rather like the political campaign, the Oscars is very political. And "The Shape of Water" came -- it peaked at the right time.


SESAY: No, I was going to say we will come back to the whole issue of "Shape of Water" facing plagiarism charges later on in the show. That is to be discussed as well.

SPARKS: Bela Gosi's widow.

VAUSE: We'll take a short break. When we come back we will talk a little bit more about the "The Shape of Water" because it did not resonate as much at the box office as it did among the Academy. We'll take a look at the divide between the Academy voters and the people who actually buy the tickets and go to the actual movies.



Well, there is a big gap between the movies that Academy voters actually like and the films that real people actually go to see in the cinemas.

SESAY: Yes. No doubt. The divide between the Academy and the box office, that isn't new. But the numbers this season are particularly telling.

Let's take a look at some that, shall we. Not a single one of the top ten highest grossing movies last year were nominated for best picture. "Dunkirk" ranked 14th, followed by "Get Out", "The Shape of Water" which won for best picture -- well that came in 48. And "Call Me By Your Name" was last of the nomination ranking -- check that out, 112.

VAUSE: Yes, ok. Not exactly raking the money in.

Hal -- we were talking a little earlier about this and basically you said that the Academy Awards, the Oscars, it's for the losers.

SPARKS: It is.

VAUSE: It's for the movie that no one wants to see.

SPARKS: It gives these loser films a chance to be a winner. And it also draws attention to films that wouldn't otherwise get attention. And it's sort of taken on that role over the years.

It used to be sort of -- if you think of it as from indie to blockbuster, the Oscars used to represent sort of the middle class of films; films that had either medium release or wasn't really getting as much attention but the performances were really solid and all that.

Now, it's become, you know, sort of a virtue signaling referencing point where we pick out these films that represent politically or emotionally the story we're telling this year as representatives of the public.

And so that's why you see these movies get kind of pulled out of nowhere almost and placed in front of everything else. And there's a reason why, by the way, the top ten money makers aren't going to be, you know people getting Oscars for them is because they're not the kind of movies that people consider acting.

They don't consider them performances and they are. I will stand by the fact that I believe that it is way harder to do a crime scene or to act in a vinyl superhero suit against a green screen talking to a tennis ball that will later be the Hulk. It's way harder to act that way than in a perfect set built around the, you know, the exact replica of the owner of "The Post" and Meryl Streep is standing right there.

I guarantee you the circumstance as an actor or director could not be better when you're in the position that lot of these like Oscar contender films are in. It's way harder to do it in a rubber suit. That's why I'm very forgiving of Christian Bale's freak out on the set of Batman.

VAUSE: We'll all very forgiving of Christian Bale's freak out --

SPARKS: We know.

VAUSE: Not down that rabbit hole.

The problem with these movies is that in these really boring point A to point B, sort of historical dramas, although a slice of life that had no beginning or now end.

MONETTI: The film industry has a real problem. It's under threat from the rise of streaming. I would argue that every drama series nominated for the Emmy's was more entertaining than every film nominated for best picture at the Oscars this year.

This is the 90th Academy Awards. If they want to get to 100 and stay relevant, they've got to close this disconnect that they have with the mainstream audience.

"Black Panther" is ruling the box office. I say that should get best picture next year.


SESAY: Well, let's see about that.

MONETTI: It's technically perfect and brilliantly entertaining.

SESAY: Jessica to bring you in as an actor -- you and "Ted" --


SESAY: -- right. Now, there is movie that, you know, the academy wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole. But I've seen it multiple times and I love it. And I was actually at something on Saturday where everyone sort of -- how much they loved it. What's your view on the disconnect between critics, the academy and the box office.

BARTH: Well, I've two kind of opinions there when Hal was speaking about how it's more difficult and, you know, you look at those movies that are making that money, movies are -- what film is about is story telling and acting and character growth and that's just not what superhero films are. They're becoming with "Wonder Woman", they're becoming with "Black Panther" but they just typically aren't. They're sequels. And nobody is going to the theaters anymore.

When I was in "Ted" I did act opposite a tennis ball. I acted obviously at nothing and I had to cry.

SPARKS: And you were fantastic.


[00:25:01] BARTH: Well, thank you.

I had to cry and so I do agree with that. However do I think I should have been nominated for an academy award? Absolutely.

VAUSE: To be fair, you know, you should be nominated. I agree with that.

ODUOLOWU: But let me ask you this -- Sandro. It's show business. I always am boggled by the idea that every -- the Academy seems to be this elitist farce where the movies that only those in the know love and can appreciate like if you can't appreciate the "Shape of Water" you're this Philistine. And if you like "Wonder Woman" or a superhero movie, you're this, you know -- you can't understand it.

It's show business. The movies that are making the most money are what the audiences are going to see, what they're clamoring for. So if the idea as an actor or an actress is to put on and tell the story like Jessica said you are telling the story so people will watch or we'd all be doing this in some small town or dinner theater.

SPARKS: Yes, but --

ODUOLOWU: And no "yes, but" -- Hal.

SPARKS: Yes, but -- I'll tell you what.

ODUOLOWU: Hold on Hal -- when you are breaking down barriers, when you did (INAUDIBLE) years ago and they weren't putting anything like that on TV, you guys weren't doing that thinking, oh my God, we're going to break down all these barriers. You were telling great stories and an audience found you and loved you.

These movies that they keep hyping, audiences aren't finding them because they don't love them, only the Academy does.


SPARKS: We weren't beloved in the same kind of way. And we did require sort of awards attention in the shape of like a GLADD drama award to get people to pay attention to a story that wasn't necessarily welcomed by the public and stuff that is emotionally cutting edge or ahead of its time does require a little more attention.

The Academy itself is not representative of box office sales. And the more it becomes that way it will effectively just be the Grammys retreading its -- making the mistake --


SUN: I agree. I have two points about that. One is that it's not so much that the Academy has changed but the film industry has changed. And the studios are no longer making those mid-budget dramas that used to get both, you know, sort of commercial box office as well as the academy. They just -- you know, you're either making really small, low budget indies or giant hundred million dollar blockbusters. So that's one reason for the discrepancy.

And then, you know, the second thing is that -- I totally lost --

SPARKS: They've decimated the middle class of films, effectively. They've decimated the middle class of films.


SUN: Right. There's no middle class of film anymore which is why --

SPARKS: That's right.

SUN: -- which is why that's one reason for the discrepancy.

ODUOLOWU: Yes. But it's the middle class of the country that's buying tickets --

SUN: I know.


SUN: I remember my though --

VAUSE: Rebecca has her thought back.

SUN: I think that we have ascribed the significance to the Academy and we want the Academy to be the -- sort of be the people's choice awards but it isn't. The Academy is just an insular industry institution that became this sort of pop culture thing because it's on TV.


SESAY: And they never pretended to be anything other than that. To be fair, they've never --

SPARKS: It's about the craft of film not just what's making money or what's popular --

SUN: I agree with you.

SPAKRS: It's about the craft of film, the making of film --

ODUOLOWU: But Hal -- again that is such -- I feel like Al Pacino in "Scent of a Woman" -- what a load of crap. First of all, if it was just --

SPARKS: I don't think they're always right.

ODUOLOWU: -- about the art of making movies, then they would show all of the technical awards which they try to hide when no one wants to watch for television. If they didn't want you to be glamorized by look who' on the red carpet and look what they're wearing, they wouldn't show that all the time. That's why --

SPARKS: Yes but --


SPARKS: -- based on their artistry and the depth of what they're showing. It's not --

ODUOLOWU: No, but what I'm saying is if that's what you only want to show -- show it.



SESAY: All right. We're going to hit. We're going to hit -- we're going to take a pause.

ODUOLOWU: Where Hal? I have to find Hal.

VAUSE: He's over at the studio.

SPARKS: They've got me in a box. I'm far away. You're not allowed --


ODUOLOWU: -- like the SNL skit they've got in a --

VAUSE: We're going to take a short break and we're going to put everybody's selection for -- what was it -- best picture. Best actor.

SESAY: Best actor.

Let's put it over and see where --

VAUSE: Put it up and take a look at this. We're going to go to break.

SUN: I love that pick though because that was such an understated performance. I wouldn't risk the money there but like my heart was with Kaluuya.

MONETTI: It's not the (INAUDIBLE) -- I don't approve.


I think we're going to see a few of those picks there.

We'll take a short break. Right back in a moment.

You're watching CNN's special coverage of Hollywood's biggest night.

SESAY: Stay with us.




JOHN VAUSE, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back, everybody, you're watching CNN's special, HOLLYWOOD'S BIGGEST NIGHT. Great to have you with us. I'm John Vause.

ISHA SESAY, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Isha Sesay. The 90th annual Academy Awards tackled serious issues like #MeToo and diversity. But it didn't lose its sense of celebration or optimism for the future of film.

VAUSE: The biggest winner is Guillermo Del Toro's "The Shape of Water," for Best Picture and Best Director as well as two other awards. Oscar favorite Frances McDormand nabbed the golden statue for Best Actress.

SESAY: And Gary Oldman took home Best Actor for his role in the "Darkest Hour."

VAUSE: OK. We have Stephanie Elam now with live at the Governors' Ball.

So, Stephanie, this was the first post-Harvey Weinstein Academy Awards, you know, there were people at the ceremony who just believed for the fact that he wasn't there.

STEPHANIE ELAM, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Oh, it's definitely there. You can definitely feel that people were focused on that, that there was an effort to point out the women that were there, the women nominees, some breaking ground there in some categories.

And you know two people who came out on the stage to present a couple of awards were Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish. And their comedy routine was so good that Twitter is pretty much calling for them to host the Oscars next year.

I even saw Katy Perry tweeted that maybe they should just go ahead and run for president and vice president in 2020. But take a listen to what they were talking about.


MAYA RUDOLPH, COMEDIAN: A few years ago people were saying that Oscars were so white. And since then some real progress has been made.


TIFFANY HADDISH, COMEDIAN: But when we came out together, we know some of you were thinking, are the Oscars too black now?


RUDOLPH: But we just want to say, don't worry. There are so many more white people to come today.

HADDISH: So many. We just came from backstage and there are tons of them back there.

RUDOLPH: Tons of them.


ELAM: OK so, surprise, this is what happens when you're at the Governors' Ball that -- Allison Janney's walking by and so you have Mira Sorvino and Ashley Judd just yelling support for a fellow woman who's here and won.

My question for you, though, ladies, is do you think that there's actually been a seismic change in Hollywood after this past year?

Or is it still going to take more time?

What do you think, Mira?

MIRA SORVINO, ACTOR: It's happening already. It's happening. I mean I am coming from a meeting and SAG after there's making changes to the union. They're trying to beef up protection for performers.

They're trying to make an accountability that is acceptable to young people and educate crews so that they can spot harassment or misconduct and help that individual rather than them feeling like they have to navigate on their own because all of my career as a young woman, I always felt I had to navigate the shoals of sexual harassment and this kind of my own. It was up to me to deal with it. And that is changing and it's going to change in law. Part of the meeting that we had the other day was introducing (INAUDIBLE) bill to California, the strongest in the country against sexual harassment.

ELAM: And so here's the other thing, though, Ashley. When you look at Hollywood, oftentimes what happens here, whether people like it or not, it does filter out into the rest of the world and to the rest of the country.

Do you think that this is already happening now as well?

ASHLEY JUDD, ACTOR: Well, I know it is because the Legal Defense Fund has already been able to help 1,500 folks who contacted us through the #TimesUp website in order to obtain pro bono lawyer help.

And we know that 20,000 people have donated over $21 million. People care greatly now about sexual misconduct and sexual harassment. There's an increasingly vast awareness of how it permeates across sectors and spaces, farm workers, teachers, retail, in government.

And Hollywood is able to set an example by saying, look, we have some very serious internal housekeeping to do. But we also want to make sure that it's intersectional and that we help do what we can to set a positive example to the country.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And it's not even just the country. I think it's the world. I think that movements are springing up everywhere, where people are seeing that it's OK to speak out and it's OK to try and change this culture that basically women have suffered under forever, in every culture forever.

And it's changing. It's like a wildfire. It's spreading. And it's turning into action. It's turning into law. It's turning into practices and standards and people getting fired, lawsuits that, you know, all of us can sit here and tell a story of a time when we were spoken to, touched or harassed in some way.

Why now?

Why do you think, Ashley this was the moment that set everything on fire and spun everything into a different direction?

JUDD: You know, I think that I have a lot of answers. My answers may not be accurate or correct and they're certainly indicative of only my personal experience. But I think that is the one question for which I don't even have an attempt at an answer. I know that I have been telling my story about my particular circumstances of harassment since it happened in 1997. And I told the story in great detail in 2016.

But there was something about that "New York Times" piece on the 5th of October in 2018 (sic) that set the world on fire and has to do, I think, with Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey's journalistic integrity, the diligence with which they did their investigation, the power of the newspaper being thrown completely behind them, the kind of documentation that they had. And there was something about my being a named source in the paper and

the other woman who's a Miramax employee, who was a named source, giving people a sense of being bolder and coming forward and saying #MeToo.

And then eventually all the #MeToos saying, hey, #TimesUp. So there are probably a couple of little incendiary moments that set the whole thing on fire and we're going to burn down the patriarchy and build a more equitable and safe and just society for everybody.

ELAM: Well, I appreciate it both of you ladies taking the time to come back and talk to me live. When I called you and (INAUDIBLE) middle of a thought and you guys came back. I appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your night so much. Thank you so much.


ELAM: So there you have it. You this is just kind of what we're talking about, John and Isha, where you see the stars, megastars like them, are saying that this is a different time, that things have changed and that's part of the reason why they were here tonight at the Academy Awards.

VAUSE: OK, Stephanie, thank you so much. A good bit there --


VAUSE: -- Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino, appreciate that.

SESAY: Yes, absolutely, with some very important points to make, saying that the change is here.

We will pick that conversation up after the break. We're going to hit pause here. Be right back.




VAUSE: Welcome back, everybody. You're watching CNN's special coverage of the Oscars, HOLLYWOOD'S BIGGEST NIGHT. Before the break we were talking about the #MeToo elements within the ceremony. Obviously figure quite prominently, given the past 12 months.

But let's go to Jessica because, Jessica, you were part of this whole #MeToo movement. You've been very vocal in your experience. So looking at the ceremony tonight, looking at the awards show, how do you think it was handled?

Did they do an appropriate job of all of this?

Did they handle it with sensitivity?

Did they make any ground? JESSICA: You know, I think it was handled with sensitivity. I also think that it's a fine line when you are handling something like this, like you were talking about pandering and having people be there like Ashley Judd and Annabella Sciorra.

I think you have to do that at this point and then it will eventually level off. But right now is you want to make sure it's not a moment. You want to make sure it's a movement. So you want to get out there while you can to make these statements.

So I think they did. While it could have been a little boring, I think they did a good job.

SESAY: So statements, movements aside, talking about real tangible change, Mira Sorvino was talking about a meeting that happened quite recently which is looking at legislation and I know you were at the meeting.

Can you tell us a little bit about it?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, it was at SAG-AFTRA and it was hosted by Sam Vera (ph), Hannah-Beth Jackson and Mira Sorvino. And they are -- what they're doing is trying to pass the nation's largest slate of bills against sexual harassment and sexual assault.

One of the bills being (INAUDIBLE) the statute of limitations. I would like to see it abolished personally. But they're upping -- they're trying to up it to two years.

So a lot of really prominent people were in that room and we're going to try to go to Sacramento and speak at the capital to get those bills passed.

VAUSE: Rebecca, (INAUDIBLE) because there was controversy even before the Academy Awards because Ryan Seacrest was hosting the red carpet show to the E! network, even though he is facing allegations of sexual harassment which he has denied repeatedly, we should emphasize, in all this.

Should he have been there?

REBECCA: Some people say that he shouldn't and there were some people trying to petition for E! to remove him. E!'s official stance is that they looked into the allegations and they did not find enough evidence for them to believe that there was wrongdoing.

And so they kept him on there. But there were reports you know just hours before the Oscars that E! was putting him on a 30-second delay in case somebody went rogue on the red carpet and you had another awkward moment like you saw with the Golden Globes.

In that case it was talking about the --


REBECCA: -- equal pay issue that E! is also facing. And so it's controversial and I think that, Sandra, you were saying that there were fewer, you know -- that he got fewer guests than he usually --


VAUSE: -- for Best Actress, they all avoided him (INAUDIBLE).


Segun, I know you felt very strong. You were vocal that this was (INAUDIBLE) Universal, the parent company of E! being tone-deaf, even going down this road by putting Seacrest on the red carpet.

SEGUN ODUOLOWU, ENTERTAINMENT JOURNALIST: When the interviewee (sic) is the story instead of these talented women and men that are walking the red carpet, that is a problem.

So whether he is innocent or guilty, to me, is immaterial on the optics of it, just remove him or someone else does it. E! has a stable of very talented people that they could have put instead of him.

Let it be adjudicated in the court but for this night, in this climate, in this atmosphere, for what these women are standing up to, for and finally being heard about, I found it in poor taste for him to be there.

And when you start hearing that women were avoiding him, that E! is doing a 30-second delay, then it's all -- for me, it's like it's proof positive. You did not really need to have him there.

And again we love Ryan but what does he add?

He doesn't add anything.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As a former member -- as a former member of the E! stable, as it were, I agree and I also think that one of the missing points of the -- both the #MeToo and the #TimesUp movement is that the entertainment journalism world, especially around the area of sort of the inside baseball of chasing down celebrities for having affairs or their drug use or what have you, basically torturing people for the intricacies of their intimate life, the fact that most of these organizations, E!, Page 6, TMZ, if sexual harassment and sexual assault, especially the Weinstein story, was a quote-unquote, "an open secret" in Hollywood for decades, none of these organizations broke it open. None of the organizations that pride themselves on inside, you know, entertainment storytelling or behind-the-scenes (INAUDIBLE), none of them were the ones that broke it.

So if anything, they knew and were keeping it quiet. So I do not know why we would expect them to handle the Ryan situation any better.

VAUSE: Jessica, if you were on that red carpet tonight, would you have done an interview with Ryan Seacrest under these (INAUDIBLE)?

(CROSSTALK) JESSICA: I personally would not have but we do have to be careful of trial by press. We do have to make sure that these people are -- these stories are vetted and nobody's losing their jobs just because somebody is saying something happened.

Now that is going to be controversial, given my circumstances. I do want to make sure that people understand that once it is written, once it is written in the "L.A. Times," "The New York Times," and you have multiple witnesses and you have multiple victims coming forward, it is -- people think that you can say something like that about Ryan Seacrest and then he loses his job. It does not happen.

These stories are vetted. You call multiple witnesses. These are investigative journalists publishing these stories. So chances are if it's in "The New York Times" you're guilty. So that is why you see people losing their jobs and these consequences.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is all about a matter of perception. I do not think that Jimmy Kimmel should have been the host of the Oscars tonight. I think we needed a female host. I think we needed a person of color.

When you consider everything that we have been discussing tonight, to have a white male there as master of ceremonies, as good as Jimmy Kimmel did, he was on a hiding to nothing. That was a no-win situation for him.

And I think he should have been given a female cohost or he should have stepped aside. Now Jimmy Kimmel has not been the subject of any allegations. But as we have been discussing tonight, this is the Year of the Woman. This is about gender equality. It is the 90th Academy Awards.

You can count on the fingers of one hand the times you have had a female host. This was the time. This was the chance for the Oscars to make a real statement.

ODUOLOWU: But don't you think --


ODUOLOWU: -- pandering?

See, I do not disagree with you --


ODUOLOWU: -- love a female host or a host of color. But my fear is I want these women given the platform that they deserve and that they have earned. If they did this, if they had given it to a woman to host because of the atmosphere, that I find to be distasteful because then you are just basically saying, well, it is a bad time. Let's have this woman do it.

But in the Ryan Seacrest, it is more of you are facing an actual accusation, you shouldn't be there --


VAUSE: We're going to get in a short break right now. Everyone hold fire.

As we go to break, we want to look at what picks for Best Actress -- and this was kind of a (INAUDIBLE) --


VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE). Well, no one went out on a limb. OK. When we come back, we'll take a closer look at some of the fashion on the red carpet.


VAUSE: And they weren't talking to Ryan Seacrest.





VAUSE: Welcome back to CNN's special coverage of the Oscars, HOLLYWOOD'S BIGGEST NIGHT. Here to talk about all the glitz and the glamor and the fashion, style expert George Kotsiopoulos.

Good to see you, George.

SESAY: Welcome, welcome.


SESAY: Given that it is so important the (INAUDIBLE) you'd expect to see the celebrities bring their A game with the fashion, bring the glitz and bring the glamor. But some of them brought something a little bit extra. You may have noticed the pins that people were wearing, the #TimesUp pins in reference to the #MeToo movement and also the orange pins in reference to gun violence.

Hollywood celebrities have never been afraid to take a stand.

What do you make of what we're seeing now, the politics on the -- ?

KOTSIOPOULOS: Well, the pins are you know the accessory du jour right now. They did the blackout at the Golden Globes, which is all of the ladies wore black for the #TimesUp movement. And now it is the Oscars. I did not think we would see that. I think that was it was going to be business as usual.

And we see a lot of these pins and it is it is people standing up for these causes that they believe in. VAUSE: This now seems just like a permanent fashion accessory, though, at all of these awards shows.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Well, I think that it is moving away, the red carpet is moving away from who are you wearing and objectifying women in that way. And they are just moving in a different, more -- I don't know. The covers that I saw, not one person asked what they were wearing. It was all just talking about the films --


VAUSE: -- protesting.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Not even necessarily the protesting but it was just not saying them -- first question was not, what's your dress? And what are your shoes?

SESAY: But also just before we move on, I'd also like to say that the celebrities wearing pins, it's kind of in line where the country is. Everyone is talking about these issues. This is what people are thinking and talking about. And so they're just reflecting that.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes, and it's having movement. The #TimesUp thing, that had a huge impact. That was a big deal.

VAUSE: Since I know nothing about fashion, I'd like to start with --


VAUSE: -- let's start with actress Rita Moreno. Now this, I love this because, on the left is Rita from the Oscars. On the right, that is the dress she wore to the Oscars --


VAUSE: -- yes, that's a kind of a classy thing --

KOTSIOPOULOS: Well, this is a testament to a couple things. Repurposing, which I love, I this is brilliant and it is also that -- fashion, the last 20 years have been a regurgitation of the last 100 years of fashion and this looks just as relevant right now as it did 50 years.

VAUSE: Fifty-six, I think.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes. And she was looks amazing in this.

SESAY: She moved well in it. She felt very comfortable -- the necklace is gorgeous.

KOTSIOPOULOS: This is like for me it is about making a statement when you are wearing -- when you're getting dressed for a red carpet and this is a statement. She looks incredible.

VAUSE: Obviously the dress on the right looks a little different. That is when she won the Academy Award for "West Side Story." Again, she looked great.

KOTSIOPOULOS: Which is funny; she modified the neckline.


SESAY: I thought she looked good.

George, want to talk about some of the looks that are generating a lot of buzz online. We're going to put some of the celebrities up on screen to get your thought.

Do you love it?

Are you happy to lose it?

Let's start with Allison Janney, who of course won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. I love --


KOTSIOPOULOS: I love it, I love it. The color is phenomenal. I love the sleeves. It is very dramatic. This is statement making and I love her hair. She has not really been wearing her hair up at all and I think she should have.


KOTSIOPOULOS: Because this looks fantastic. She looks like movie star, a million bucks. Love this one.

SESAY: Feels like all of Hollywood has -- am I right?

KOTSIOPOULOS: It's also kind of --


KOTSIOPOULOS: -- these are like kind of being a princess sleeve, like Rapunzel --


SESAY: Kind of like "Lord of the Rings" --

KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes, exactly. It's like kind of great.

VAUSE: Chadwick Bozeman, let's have a look.

KOTSIOPOULOS: I think his look is cool. I think it is a very cool look. I do not get black tie out of this look. But I do think it is cool and I like --


SESAY: It's clearly a play on "Black Panther" with the embroidery, the African embroidery that you'll find on clothing -- KOTSIOPOULOS: But I think he could have done a more formal shoe and a bowtie or a straight tie, just something -- this is a black tie event. It is not the Grammys. So just kind of keeping in that theme.

SESAY: OK, we want to put up Salma Hayek. Tell me what you thought of this look because this is being --


KOTSIOPOULOS: -- and that's the thing with fashion. This is very directional. This is by Gucci. It is custom-made for her and it is -- Gucci is the most directional brand right now. Everything is about Gucci, everything is over-embellished and crazy. I mean this is the hottest designer there is.

So it will cause a lot of reaction and people either loving or hating it and that is when the fashion pendulum swings, when people start talking about it.

VAUSE: (INAUDIBLE) noise when the wind blew --

KOTSIOPOULOS: I'm sure it made a lot of noise. But I think she looks beautiful. Her body looks fantastic. I love it.

VAUSE: OK, who do we go to next?

SESAY: Lupita.

VAUSE: Lupita Nyong'o.

Did I get that right?


VAUSE: Thank you.


KOTSIOPOULOS: This is Atelier Versace. It's beautiful and this is -- goes along with the Gucci trend, where everything is very embellished. I think it's pretty. This is not one of my favorites on Lupita but I do love it. I think she looks beautiful in it.

SESAY: Again, channeling the whole "Black Panther" thing, it does look very regal and I think I like that with the little detail in the hair. I like it but I agree. I've seen her wear other --


VAUSE: -- classic but modern.


KOTSIOPOULOS: Yes, I was thinking I like it without the embellishment.

A little more simple.

SESAY: Need to show you this. I'm just going to put up the picture and you can run with this. Take a look at this.


KOTSIOPOULOS: I actually really like this. I really like this. I do not like it for the Oscars but I think it's a cool look and I also don't like the loafers.


KOTSIOPOULOS: -- just not something I would wear.

SESAY: What is it?

KOTSIOPOULOS: This is Moschino. And it is -- it looks like there is -- they always modify and deconstruct things. So this looks like this-- your braces, the one that you would wear, your suspenders that appear. And it's a harness that he's wearing on the inside, which is more of an S&M kind of thing.

But he's creative. It is a cool look. I do not like the shoes. I love everything but the shoes.

SESAY: The shoes are the thing that bother you?


KOTSIOPOULOS: I think he should have worn something a little more tough. He's wearing a friggin' harness.

VAUSE: You don't see the harness (INAUDIBLE).

KOTSIOPOULOS: No, you do not.


VAUSE: He gets top marks for actually stepping out there.

He gets top marks for --



KOTSIOPOULOS: I think for the Grammys, great look, not really for the Oscars.


KOTSIOPOULOS: I do like it.



KOTSIOPOULOS: I would wear that, maybe not with -- I would probably not wear the harness but I'd wear that jacket. The jacket's cool.

VAUSE: George, thank you so much.

SESAY: George, a pleasure.

KOTSIOPOULOS: We didn't talk about my favorite yet.

SESAY: Tell us your favorite.

KOTSIOPOULOS: What, are we going to do that later?

VAUSE: No, do it now.

KOTSIOPOULOS: We didn't talk about Nicole Kidman.

SESAY: That was your favorite?

KOTSIOPOULOS: I loved that. She is wearing your beautiful blue color (INAUDIBLE).

SESAY: Well, a little more regally but yes.

VAUSE: And there she is.

SESAY: There she --


SESAY: -- rabbit though, the little --


VAUSE: Maybe it's on backwards.

KOTSIOPOULOS: No, you guys, I think this is amazing. I love the big bow. I think she just -- she looks phenomenal.


KOTSIOPOULOS: Beautiful color, everything is perfect here.

VAUSE: We're out of time. We're going to take a short break. Stay with us.

George, thank you again.

SESAY: Thank you, George.

VAUSE: A lot more of HOLLYWOOD'S BIGGEST NIGHT right after this. Stay with us. You're watching CNN.