The decision breaks with Oscars tradition, which usually has the previous year's acting winners present the acting awards for the opposite gender. Affleck, who won Best Actor last year for Manchester By The Sea, was supposed to present Best Actress, but he dropped out in January in light of the #MeToo and Time's Up movements.
According to Variety, the Academy has also picked Jane Fonda and Helen Mirren to present Best Actor over La La Land star Emma Stone, last year's Best Actress winner. Moonlight actor Mahersahala Ali and Fences actress Viola Davis, who won last year's supporting role Oscars, are still on the presenters list. Stone is also on the list still, so it is unclear what she will present.
Fonda, Lawrence, Mirren and Foster are all Best Actress Oscar winners. Lawrence won hers for Silver Linings Playbook (2012), and Mirren won for The Queen (2006). Foster has two for The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and The Accused (1988). Fonda's two wins are for Klute (1971) and Coming Home (1978).
On Thursday, Ava DuVernay, Laura Dern, Shonda Rhimes and Tessa Thompson told journalists there will be a segment to highlight the Time's Up initiative, which is raising funds to provide women with legal defense in sexual harassment cases. The fund has raised over $21 million since it launched on Jan. 1.
“It’s really important that you know that Time’s Up is not about the red carpet,” Rhimes said, reports Variety. “And those women you saw on the red carpet representing Time’s Up are now off the red carpet working their butts off being activists.”
Affleck dropped out of the Oscars in January. In 2010, Affleck was accused of inappropriate behavior while filming I'm Still Here. Two women filed lawsuits against the actor and they were both settled out of court for undisclosed amounts. Affleck denied the allegations.2comments
The allegations resurfaced in the days before the Oscars last year and created an awkward moment when Brie Larson presented him the award. Larson won an Oscar for Room (2015), in which she played a sexual assault survivor, and has gone on to be an activist for survivors. She refused to clap when Affleck gave his speech.
The Oscars kick off at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Sunday. Other presenters include Mark Hamill, Zendalya, Lupita Nyong'o, Rita Moreno, Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Emily Blunt, Laura Dern and Ashley Judd.