Cate Blanchett lambasted the “patriarchal pyramid” of Hollywood award presentations as she won the Critics Choice Award for best actress on Sunday in Los Angeles.
The Australian actor and Oscar favorite, whose role as an ambitious, ethically problematic conductor in the classical music drama “TAR” is sweeping prizes, stated to a full ballroom that she wanted the “structure” of award shows might be altered.
“It’s like, what is this patriarchal pyramid where someone stands up here?” she asked as she accepted her award from the largest critics group in North America.
“Why don’t we just say that there are a multitude of female performances that are in concert and dialogue with one another, and end the televised horse race?”
“Because, can I tell you, every single woman — whether in television, movies, advertising, tampon commercials, or whatever — is out there doing incredible work that continually inspires me.
“So thank you. I am sharing this with everyone.”
Blanchett has won two Oscars in the past for her roles in “Blue Jasmine” and “The Aviator.”
Last week, she received a Golden Globe for her portrayal of a lesbian conductor in “TAR,” but she did not attend the ceremony.
Several additional award ceremonies, including the Film Independent Spirit Honors, the MTV Movie and TV Awards, and the Grammy Awards for music, have adopted gender-neutral acting awards.
As with the Oscars and the majority of other Hollywood award ceremonies, the Critics’ Choice Awards continue to separate acting awards into male and female categories.
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Blanchett’s remarks followed a deeply emotional, sobbing speech by Brendan Fraser in which he thanked voters for his best actor award for “The Whale.”
Fraser, a major Hollywood star in the late 1990s and early 2000s with movies such as “The Mummy,” experienced a lengthy dry spell before receiving significant praise for his role as a morbidly obese instructor in his new play.
“I was in a remote area. And I should have probably left a trail of breadcrumbs. Fraser told director Darren Aronofsky, “You found me.”
Fraser remarked to a standing ovation, “If you, like the character Charlie in this film, struggle with obesity or just feel like you’re in a sea of darkness, I want you to know that if you have the strength to just stand up and walk toward the light, good things will happen.”
The Critics’ Choice Awards are one of several important award ceremonies before the Oscars, which will take place on March 12 this year.
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