By Dan Whitcomb
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Women filmmakers and artists of color celebrated a year of diversity at the 90th Academy Awards on Sunday, saluting the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and urging under-represented artists to seize the momentum.
A segment dedicated to the issues was narrated by Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra, three of the dozens of women who have accused Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, helping touch off the #MeToo movement.
Weinstein has denied having nonconsensual sex with anyone.
The women described 2017, which included blockbuster and critically acclaimed films that were not centered on white men - from female-led action movie "Wonder Woman" to racial satire "Get Out" - as a move toward a more inclusive film industry.
"The changes we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices, joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying: 'Time's up,'" Judd said.
Time's Up, launched on Jan. 1, is a legal defense fund that aims to support people reporting sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and beyond.
"So we salute those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the biased perceptions of their race their genders and their ethnicities," Hayek said.
Sciorra added: "And on this 90th anniversary evening, when the Oscars celebrates its timeless classics, we look forward as well."
The piece also featured taped comments from actors and filmmakers such as Ava DuVernay, Mira Sorvino and Geena Davis.
Pakistani-American actor and writer Kumail Nanjiani said during his clip that producers should work with women and people of color not only because they deserved representation but also “because you get rich.”
Hollywood has been roiled by the sexual misconduct scandal, which has led to dozens of once powerful men stepping down or being dropped from creative projects.
(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Henderson, Peter Cooney and Jonathan Oatis)