Why Jennifer Lawrence, Jodie Foster presenting an Oscar was a big deal

Jennifer Lawrence arrives at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday, March 4, 2018, at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood. (Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

By Nardine Saad
Los Angeles Times

Jennifer Lawrence and Jodie Foster’s appearance at Sunday’s Oscars bucked tradition, but was not totally unexpected.

The Oscar-winning actresses presented the award for lead actress to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” star Frances McDormand. They ribbed Meryl Streep during their presentation and praised the trailblazing actresses who share the honor with them.

But something was different this time.

Lawrence and Foster stepped in when Casey Affleck withdrew from the show in January in the wake of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements coursing through Hollywood and beyond.

Historically, the lead actress prize is presented by the previous year’s lead actor winner.

“We appreciate the decision to keep the focus on the show and on the great work of this year,” an academy spokesperson said when Affleck bowed out.

Allegations of past misconduct dogged the “Manchester by the Sea” star last awards season as he swept the lead actor honor. In 2010 he settled with two female crew members who sued him after accusing him of sexual misconduct on the set of his directorial effort “I’m Still Here,” which filmed in 2009.

Affleck was also the subject of 2016 lead actress Brie Larson’s silent protest at the 2017 Oscars when she refused to clap for him upon presenting him with his prize.

Foster won lead actress Oscars for “The Accused” (1988) and “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) and was nominated for two other films. Lawrence won her lead actress Oscar for “Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) and was nominated three other times.

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