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‘Downsizing’ Star Hong Chau on Men and #MeToo: ‘I Don’t Want to Tell Somebody What to Say’

“Downsizing” star Hong Chau said men should continue to speak up in conversations about the Time’s Up campaign and #MeToo movement.

“I’ve seen men try to engage in conversation when women have been asking them to speak up and say something, and when they do say something, they get backlash for opening their mouth,” she observed.

One example is the actress’ co-star, Matt Damon, who apologized for comments he made in a couple of interviews since the subject has taken hold in the industry. At Saturday’s Entertainment Weekly Pre-SAG Awards Celebration, Chau said that candid conversations with men on the subject are a good thing.

“I don’t want to tell somebody what to say. I want to hear what they think and feel because that’s the only way you’re going to have any progress,” she said. “Hopefully people are listening.”

Chau also commented on how the current movement has affected moviegoers. “I think the way the films have been digested is different. With ‘Downsizing,’ a lot of the discussion hasn’t been about the film itself, but about cultural and political conversations happening outside of it. It’s being digested in the context of the time.”

“Lady Bird” star Jake McDorman stated that men should take more time listening than speaking at the present time. He suggested that “it’s our turn to listen. That’s what I’ve been learning a lot from, listening.”

When asked about the different tone of this awards season, he said, “I think it’s great. I think this should be the tone. Time’s Up, it’s about time. I think it’s fantastic, especially being part of a movie that’s driven by women [with star Saoirse Ronan and director Greta Gerwig]. The resistance of what’s been going on for the last year has been led by women.”

The SAG Awards will have a host for the first time, Kristen Bell, and the Time’s Up campaign remains top of mind during the 2018 award season. There won’t be a fashion blackout though, as talent is more focused on the message than the color of their clothes.

Jackie Tohn, a SAG Awards nominee for best ensemble for Netflix’s “Glow,” said, “It’s a really exciting time for people in a position of celebrity to speak out about how you feel, what’s been going on with women for such a long time, [and] shine a light on the movement.”

Inside the Chateau, guests snacked on hors d’oeuvres and cocktails while a DJ spun a playlist that was heavy with rap and hip-hop. Danielle Brooks was spotted taking a selfie with “Atlanta’s” Brian Tyree HenrySterling K. Brown and Joe LoTruglio chatted about Brown’s recent guest shot on “Brooklyn 99”; and a dance battle brewed between Miles Brown (“black-ish”) and Lonnie Chavis (“This Is Us”) as Caleb McLaughlin (“Stranger Things”) and Marsai Martin (“black-ish”) cheered them on.

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