Governors Awards Omit Mention (Onstage) of Sex Harassment Scandals

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Dustin Hoffman at the Governors Awards on Saturday night. Credit Aaron Poole/AMPAS

LOS ANGELES — The show apparently goes on.

On Saturday night, as chauffeured S.U.V.’s carrying the likes of Jennifer Lawrence and Steven Spielberg inched through gridlock traffic en route to the Governors Awards, the first major stop on Hollywood’s long march to the Oscars, a question hung in the air: How would attendees handle self-celebration at a time when sexual harassment scandals are engulfing the entertainment industry?

On the presenter list were some of Hollywood’s most outspoken women, including Angelina Jolie, Ava DuVernay and Jessica Chastain. Would the tone be less gleeful than usual? Perhaps the Piper-Heidsieck Brut Champagne would flow a little less freely?

The outcome was perhaps summed up best by a moment during the cocktail hour, when a waiter arrived with a tray of hors d’oeuvres. “Deviled eggs for everyone!” he cheerfully pronounced.

Indeed, the topic of sexual harassment went unmentioned during the formal ceremony, which lasted more than three hours and covered honorary Oscars for the cinematographer Owen Roizman, the actor Donald Sutherland and three directors — Agnès Varda, Charles Burnett and Alejandro G. Iñárritu. The closest anyone came to the elephant in the room was Ms. Jolie, who introduced Ms. Varda, the filmmaker credited with inspiring the French new wave movement with her 1956 film, “La Pointe Courte.”

“We need to draw strength from artists like Agnès,” Ms. Jolie said from the stage. “Those women who went first, who took that first step, showed the way for all of us.”

Then Ms. Jolie and the mischievous Ms. Varda did a little dance.

It seemed during a few moments as if the Governors Awards were taking place in a parallel dimension where the torrent of sexual harassment allegations against male stars, producers and directors did not exist. Dustin Hoffman, for instance, strode onstage and was greeted with enthusiastic applause. In recent weeks, Mr. Hoffman was accused of sexual harassment by two women. He issued an apology on Nov. 1.

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