By LINDSEY BAHR
AP Film Writer
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) – Judd Apatow has been one of the most vocal critics of men accused of sexual misconduct in his industry, but Saturday night at the Directors Guild Awards, the producer-director’s opening remarks were withheld from over a dozen reporters in the press room at the untelevised event.
“It’s just for the room,” a Directors Guild representative told reporters as the video and audio feed went dark when Apatow took the stage. No prior indication had been given that press would be denied access to any moment of the show.
Yet among the roughly 1,000 directors, producers, actors, executives and publicists watching Apatow speak inside the main ballroom, there were also number of reporters from outlets such as The Washington Post, Vanity Fair and Variety, all of whom were tweeting about his remarks as they happened. Press photographers are restricted from taking pictures inside the ballroom, but many attendees snap and share photos on social media.
A DGA representative said that the reason the feed was not made available to press was to prevent audiovisual distribution of Apatow’s monologue and stressed that certain press were reporting from the ballroom.
According to those in the ballroom, Apatow talked about the dismal statistics for female directors in the industry and how Harvey Weinstein ruined bathrobes for his wife. He also reportedly joked about a cash-grab “sexual harassers” movie featuring Kevin Spacey as a trans veteran fighting cancer and Bill Cosby as president that would be directed by Brett Ratner, written by Woody Allen, scored by R. Kelly and catered by Mario Batali – men who have all been accused in recent months of sexual misconduct. Apatow joked it would air on “Matt Lauer’s YouTube channel.”
Among the celebrities attending the show were Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Bradley Whitfield, Sally Hawkins and nominated directors like Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele and Christopher Nolan.
The Hollywood awards season has largely leaned into the post-Weinstein moment of reckoning for the industry and society as a whole, from the all-black wardrobe statement at the Golden Globes and the A-list actresses walking the red carpet with activist guests, to the mostly female presenters at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Seth Meyers made cutting jokes as the host of the Golden Globes, as did Kristen Bell for SAG.
Apatow, whose criticisms of Cosby predates the Weinstein revelations, has tweeted almost every day about sexual misconduct news and has been speaking at public events about it, including at the Variety Power of Women luncheon that took place in October, days after sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Weinstein were detailed in The New York Times and The New Yorker.
Apatow is known for directing films like “Knocked Up” and “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” and producing the HBO series “Girls.”
Why his Directors Guild remarks were suppressed from certain press remains somewhat unclear beyond a desire to keep a video off of the internet. A representative for Apatow did not respond to a request for comment. A DGA representative declined to comment on the record about whether or not Apatow knew that press were going to be present in the ballroom.
According to Washington Post reporter Steven Zeitchik, Apatow said Saturday of hosting that there’s “nothing in this for me …. One bad moment where I talk like Matt Damon and explain sexual harassment and I’m (expletive).”
Deadline reported that Apatow added: “I just do this because I am dead inside and (need to feel something).”
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