Sunday’s Oscars ceremony was the first without Harvey Weinstein in many years, but his existence still loomed large. From jokes at his expense to powerful calls to action, the night was in many ways defined—positively—by his absence. But the most poignant of these moments came when three of his most outspoken accusers—Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra, and Salma Hayek Pinault—came together to introduce a video tribute to rising diversity in Hollywood. While Harvey Weinstein was expelled from the Academy, the women who spoke out against him stood boldly and resplendently on its stage.
The women used their introduction to celebrate progress both in and around the movies. While the clip celebrated the 2017 films that had broken through gender and racial bias on screen—including Get Out, Strong Island, Mudbound, Lady Bird, The Big Sick, Beatriz at Dinner, The Post, Wonder Woman, and Black Panther—Judd, Sciorra, and Hayek Pinault celebrated the breaking of silence off screen. “The changes we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices,” said Judd, one of the first women to speak out against Weinstein, tying it all together. “Joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying: Time’s Up.”
The inclusion of Sciorra, a rising star who says she withdrew from the spotlight after being raped in her home by the producer (Weinstein denies all allegations of nonconsensual sex), was especially moving. “It’s nice to see you all again,” she said, to cries of we love you!. “It’s been a while.” The image of Sciorra’s return to the fold from which Weinstein had recently been ousted came with a bittersweet sense of justice.
Hayek Pinault, who called Weinstein her “monster” in a powerful New York Times op-ed, stumbled over her words, telling the audience she was “so full of emotion, a little bit shaky.” “We will work together to make sure that the next 90 years empower these limitless possibilities of equality, diversity, inclusion, intersectionality,” said Judd. “That’s what this year has promised us.”
In a just and healthy world, the combination of Judd, Sciorra, and Hayek Pinault wouldn’t have been noteworthy, other than for the alignment of three respected and talented actresses. As it stands, Weinstein survivors from all over Hollywood are bound together in solidarity by their harrowing experiences. Judd, Sciorra, and Hayek Pinault stood on stage for all of them.