Yet another controversy for the Oscars
After accusations of racism, the Oscars ceremony is now being called out for not accommodating the needs of breastfeeding mothers.
It seems that while pregnant women were celebrated on the red carpet, those who have recently given birth were treated to an uncomfortable experience on the night. This has been brought to light by actor Tom Hardy, who was there with wife Charlotte Riley, who gave birth to their child in October.
A reporter from the Los Angeles Times spotted Tom outside the toilets looking anxious, when he was asked if it was nerves making him look so concerned, the actor said it wasn’t.
‘I’m just waiting for my wife to finish breast pumping in the bathroom,’ he explained. ‘She has to do it every hour.’
Shockingly, the Dolby Theatre where the Academy Awards are held, do not have anywhere sanitary, or more comfortable for breastfeeding women to pump milk. And let’s keep in mind that this is far more difficult than breastfeeding. With a pump there are many parts to it, all of which you of course have to keep sterile, hardly an easy task when you’re doing it in a huge gown and in the unsterile atmosphere of a toilet.
This isn’t the first time that new mothers have had to struggle at the Oscars – which can be up to four hours long.
In 2013 Adele told The Guardian that she was ‘running to the toilets…to pump and dump. Which loads of people were doing…All these Hollywood superstars, lined up and breastfeeding in the ladies.’ And in 2006 Capote producer Caroline Baron had to ‘put in a call to the Academy wondering if she could get a breast pump past security.’
Apart from showing a shocking lack of consideration for the needs of new mothers and the wellbeing of their babies, this also highlights the far larger problem of sexism in Hollywood. Again women are being forced to put up with being treated like second-rate humans. Come on, is it really a huge ask to find a clean room for a woman to express milk which won’t put her child’s health at risk?