Lady Problems is a weekly column that looks at how the entertainment industry — and its corresponding culture and constituents — is treating women in a given week. (Hint: It will almost always be “poorly.”) Every Thursday we’ll review the week's most significant woman-centric conflicts, then provide a brilliant solution to each problem that nobody in Hollywood will ever listen to or enforce.
The Lady Problem: This week's Oscars were a massive and gorgeous clusterfuck, the likes of which we may never see again. A small portion of this clusterfuckery was extremely delightful: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway squabbling over who would announce Best Picture, then announcing the wrong Best Picture, then standing backstage death-gripping the winner's envelope (Beatty) and casually eating cashews (Dunaway); Denzel beautifully stonewalling Casey Affleck during the latter's acceptance speech; Meryl Streep pettily feuding with Karl Lagerfeld.
But we must also address the clusterfuckery that was not so delightful, of which there was plenty. Let's do a rundown, complete with individual solutions:
• Casey Affleck, a man who allegedly sexually harassed multiple former employees and who looks like a melted hiking backpack come to life, won an Oscar for his performance in Manchester by the D, a movie about a man who wanders around the town of Manchester exposing himself to innocent passersby. The Oscars continue to be a forum for rewarding some of the world's very worst (white) men, sending the indelible message that dudes can do whatever the fuck they want as long as they make money by bringing white people to tears at the movies. Days later, Affleck "addressed" the charges publicly for the first time since his Oscar nomination, saying, "I believe that any kind of mistreatment of anyone for any reason is unacceptable and abhorrent, and everyone deserves to be treated with respect in the workplace and anywhere else. … There’s really nothing I can do about it, other than live my life the way I know I live it and to speak to what my own values are and how I try to live by them all the time." This is truly the most meaningless sentence I've ever read. It's honestly kind of impressive. The solution here is for people to stop casting Casey Affleck as anything other than a decomposing Big Mac left out too long in the sun.
• Mel Gibson, who believes the Jews are "responsible for all the wars in the world" and threatened to have his wife "raped by a pack of niggers," won several Oscars for directing Hacksaw Ridge, a movie about how easy it is to make everybody forget that you abused your pregnant wife. Madeleine Davies at Jezebel has a great, long look at how quickly and totally Hollywood forgave Gibson — including, but not limited to, the star of Hacksaw Ridge, Andrew Garfield, who told E! News that he "loves" Gibson, and host Jimmy Kimmel, who lovingly ribbed him from the Oscars stage. By way of a solution, I hereby doom Gibson to exclusively eat piles of Stevia molded into the shape of tits for the rest of his stupid life. (To be clear, he will also make the molds.)
• Speaking of Kimmel, his lowest-common-denominator-white-boy humor throughout the ceremony was more exhausting than imagining hand-shaping piles of sugar substitutes into breasts on a daily basis. There was that time when he made fun of Mahershala Ali — the first Muslim to win an Oscar — for not being named Patrick or Casey or Jimmy or Dick or Jockstrap. There was that time when he made fun of Ali's newborn daughter's name (... bro). There was that time when he towed a bunch of Normals into the ceremony against their will and turned them into caricatures, parading them around like a bizarre, reverse zoo exhibit, the inherent "joke" being that they would never be as glamorous or rich or allowed-to-sexually-harass-people-without-recourse as the men and women sitting before them. There was that time when he made fun of one of these normals for being an Asian woman with a nontraditional name. Why are we still letting Jimmy Kimmel host things?
• The primary moment that continues to haunt me, days later: During the now-infamous La La Land Best Picture speech, one of the producers thanked his "blue-eyed wife." The fuck is this Aryan shit? Moments later, another producer thanked his wife, on "whose shoulders I’ve stood for 40 years because she insisted I reach for the stars." I am truly shuddering as I type this. Who told these men that these kinds of things were acceptable to say out loud? Jimmy? Patrick? Casey? I am going to briefly inhabit the bodies of these producers' blue-eyed, mute wives, then divorce them, then go on a years-long sex road trip.
• The Academy ran a photo of a live woman, Jan Chapman, during the In Memoriam segment for her friend and actually dead woman, Janet Patterson. In other words, women are interchangeable in Hollywood, especially if they're old enough to have believably died (i.e., older than 12). Janet Patterson, I temporarily summon you from the other side to haunt the hell out of whoever did this to you. Jan Chapman, I love your necklace.
• Shirley MacLaine, who had nothing to do with Warren Beatty's Best Picture fuck-up, is utterly devastated and still "processing the horror" of it. Shirley!!! Spend your precious emotional energy and self-proclaimed mysticism elsewhere, my girl!!
• Brad Pitt skipped the Oscars because he was busy sculpting. Honestly, this is just rude to me personally.