Published 7:55 PM EDT Sep 17, 2018
It's hard to talk about the 2018 Emmys without mentioning #MeToo, the movement that's providing the backdrop to a Hollywood-wide reckoning with the industry's harassers.
Speaking with some of television's most prominent names on the Emmys red carpet, a theme emerged – of stars who are cautiously optimistic, but not entirely hopeful, about the movement's legacy of change.
Michelle Wolf, who hosted Netflix's "The Break With Michelle Wolf" until the show's recent cancellation, said that #MeToo helped men understand the boundaries of inappropriate conduct.
The group of writers and producers representing Samantha Bee's TBS show "Full Frontal" weren't so rosy about Louis C.K.'s comeback, saying they weren’t happy with his return to comedy, particularly his unannounced set at New York's Comedy Cellar last month, which drew criticism for surprising audience members who may not have wanted to see him perform.
“His apology read like an Emmys acceptance speech," said "Full Frontal" correspondent Amy Hoggart, mentioning how C.K. brought up his professional accomplishments in his apology statement.
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More: How will #MeToo play out on the Emmys and in real life?
Ross Mathews of "RuPaul's Drag Race" brought up another high-profile case of alleged harassment, the recent accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, as a litmus test of #MeToo's impact.
“I think we’ve seen a lot of change, but we’ll be tested with Kavanaugh. It seems a lot like 1991,” he said, referencing Anita Hill's accusations of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas during his confirmation.
Emmy-nominated "Orphan Black" star Tatiana Maslany was brutally honest about the lack of changes she's seen in Hollywood since #MeToo's emergence.
“My experience so far has been a lot of lip service," she said. "On set, I’ve heard people say, ‘Oh, you can’t do that anymore.’ It’s seen like an affront rather than internalized change."
"I’m hopeful that the conversation ... is in the light now," she continued. "It’s going to grow but it’s baby steps."
As for "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" nominee Judith Light, whose "Transparent" co-star Jeffrey Tambor notably departed the show after harassment charges against him emerged, said she's seen "some change" in the past year.
"But we have to see more change," she said. "That has been an interesting change, is women relating to other women. There’s more, ‘Hi, I’m here for you’ and ‘I’m listening.’"