VARIETY – Breaking with tradition in the midst of an awards season that has come to colloquially become known as “the year of the woman,” the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has tapped four actresses to present this year’s lead acting awards at the 90th annual Oscars, Variety has learned.
Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster will announce the lead actress prize winner Sunday night, while Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren will present lead actor. Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) and Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) are considered the frontrunners to win.
Traditionally, the previous year’s acting winners present the same categories for the opposite gender at the Oscars. But in January, it was revealed that last year’s lead actor winner Casey Affleck (“Manchester by the Sea”) had withdrawn as a presenter from this year’s ceremony, reportedly to avoid becoming a distraction due to two sexual harassment lawsuits he previously settled with the producer and cinematographer of his 2010 film “I’m Still Here.”
The Academy did not respond to a request for comment.
The move to enlist women for the lead acting presentations comes in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements that took center stage this awards season, calling attention to sexual misbehavior, gender inequality and power dynamics, among other issues.
On Thursday, it was announced that a moment has been carved out on the show for the Time’s Up organization, which launched a legal defense fund in January for those who have experienced sexual harassment, assault, or abuse in the workplace. Those efforts have already topped $21 million from 20,000 donors.
Other Oscar presenters this year will include superhero stars Chadwick Boseman (“Black Panther”) and Gal Gadot (“Wonder Woman”), comedian Dave Chappelle, and “Star Wars” legend Mark Hamill, as well as Daniela Vega (“A Fantastic Woman”), the first openly transgender actress to present.
Here is a full list of presenters already announced by the Academy:
Eva Marie Saint
Kelly Marie Tran