Entertainment & Arts

Oscars: Hollywood parties and protests as the big night approaches

Aja Naomi King and Viola Davis at the Black Women in Hollywood Awards Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Aja Naomi King and Viola Davis were at at Thursday's Black Women in Hollywood Awards

Oscar season reaches its climax on Sunday, and Hollywood's celebrities are in a final whirl of parties, dinners, award shows - and political protests.

Instead of a red carpet, stars walked a green carpet (well, a strip of artificial grass) at the Oscar Wildes, dubbed the "Irish Oscars", on Thursday.

On Wednesday there was a black carpet for the All Def Movie Awards - a cheeky response to the #OscarsSoWhite furore.

More exclusive parties - and an anti-Trump rally - are to come on Friday.

They are all part of a flurry of events that take place in Oscar week, allowing the film industry to congratulate itself even more and casting some of the limelight on underrepresented groups, worthy causes and brands.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ruth Negga and Caitriona Balfe were honoured at the Oscar Wildes

Irish Oscar nominee Ruth Negga and Outlander actress Caitriona Balfe were honoured at the 12th Oscar Wildes, staged by the US-Ireland Alliance at director JJ Abrams' Santa Monica HQ.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Balfe signed autographs for enthusiastic fans

Balfe was greeted at the event by fans carrying a banner reading: "Outlander: We love you Caitriona".

She said: "Irish people will always make a little community wherever they go and LA is no different. It's really important that you have this community that you can rely on."

Also on Thursday, the Black Women in Hollywood Awards hosted stars including Oscar nominee Viola Davis and fellow actresses Janelle Monae and Aja Naomi King.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Issa Rae, Aja Naomi King, Yara Shahidi and Janelle Monae were at the Black Women in Hollywood Awards

That came a day after the All Def Movie Awards, which were set up by entertainment mogul Russell Simmons last year to reward the films that Oscar forgot.

He said his ceremony was worth staging again, despite the fact that many more films with black stars and black stories are nominated this year compared with the previous two years.

"There's still a lack of sensitivity on the part of the gatekeepers," he told BBC News.

"I love the industry. I want to see us more inclusive. I broke my neck for the last 30 years to be included, despite the fact that Hollywood's not been breaking its neck to be inclusive."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Giant Oscars statues will be moved into place in time for Sunday's ceremony

Other Oscar-related events on Thursday ranged from parties thrown by Dolby, Cadillac and Ebony magazine to a benefit concert staged by Artists for Peace and Justice.

Friday is the peak day for pre-Oscar parties.

There will be events to celebrate British, Australian and Italian film-makers; a cocktail reception for this year's 46 female Oscar nominees; an award show thrown by publicists; and a ceremony to celebrate Latinos in the media.

But the United Talent Agency has decided not to take part in the partying this year. It has cancelled its annual pre-Oscar bash - deciding instead to hold a rally to protest at US President Donald Trump's plan for a travel ban on people coming from seven mainly Muslim countries.

Jodie Foster, Michael J Fox, Cynthia Erivo and Wilmer Valderrama are among the actors who are due to give speeches.

That means it is likely to garner more attention than all of the more frivolous gatherings - and will give a taste of what to expect on what is likely to be a politically-charged Oscar night.

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