Oscars 2021 thrill with diverse wins, then disappoint at the end

See what happens when Diversity and inclusion are not just words but actions?

At the 93rd annual Academy Awards on Sunday Chloe Zhao was the first woman of color to win best director for “Nomadland” (which also won the best picture). Daniel Kaluuya (“Judas and the Black Messiah”) and Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”) won the supporting actor races. Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson were the first black women to win makeup and hairstyling for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”.

Those victories made the big awards at the end of the night all the more shocking: the best actor and actress races did not go to color actors, which many forecasters expected: Chadwick Boseman and Viola Davis for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. Instead, they went to Anthony Hopkins for “The Father” and Frances McDormand for “Nomadland”.

Hollywood has been working to improve its recording track record. The emotions on Sunday evening Oscars The speeches highlighted how powerful wins can be for the communities that represent different winners, how exciting it can be to see them – and how devastating it can be for them to miss them again.

It’s easy to see a list of nominees and winners and marvel (or mock) the variety. However, it is more important to listen to the words of underrepresented voices when they have the opportunity to hold the coveted golden statue.

Daniel Kaluuya, named Best Supporting Actor for his role as Fred Hampton, chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party on Judas, thanked the man he played, who was murdered in 1969. “Thank you for your light … Thank you for showing me yourself,” he said.

In case you missed it all:Oscars 2021: Anthony Hopkins shocks as best actor, ‘Nomadland’ wins best picture

Hollywood's most coveted honors were presented at the pandemic-delayed Oscars in Los Angeles on Sunday night, where the stars finally got their gold.  Here Daniel Kaluuya accepts the award for best supporting actor Oscar for

During her acceptance speech, Zhao spoke about how she grew up in China and how she will move on when things get tough. She remembered a game she had played with her father. “We would memorize classical Chinese poems and texts and recite them together and try to finish each other’s sentences,” she said in her speech.

Also think of Neal’s acceptance speech for “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which recognized the glass ceiling she broke with Wilson – and her hope for a more diverse future. “I can imagine black trans women standing up here and Asian sisters and our Latina sisters and indigenous women and I know that one day it won’t be unusual or groundbreaking, it will just be normal,” she said.

And then there was Youn who gave us this gem of a tip to the executive producer of the film (and the host of the award).Brad Pitt: Mr. Brad Pitt, nice to meet you at last! Where were you when we were filming?

It was a welcome list of winners for most of the night compared to previous years – especially since #OscarsSoWhite Fiasco of 2015 and 2016, when all 20 incumbent nominees were white, not to mention year-long nomination snubs that caused outrage. But a year – even if Davis and Boseman had won – is barely enough evidence that Hollywood is forever changing its ways.

The Academy’s decisions that year showed that Diversity efforts Behind the scenes, what it announced with its diverse list of nominees could pay off: Nine of the 20 incumbent nominees were black people. Time will tell if this was a one-off as the coronavirus pandemic caused studios to withhold larger films that may have resulted in tougher competition for nominations.

The full list of winners:Oscar Winners 2021: The full list of Oscar winners can be found here

The film academy has worked to diversify its membership to include more women and people of color. But it remains predominantly white and masculine. As of 2020, only 33% of active members were women (up from 25% in 2015) and 19% were from underrepresented racial or ethnic communities (up from 10% in 2015).

Imagine many other speeches that we could have heard from all kinds of people over the years had they been given the opportunity to act, produce, write, and direct in the first place.

And Hollywood is still losing $ 10 billion every year due to its lack of diversity McKinsey report.

People of color in front of and behind the camera deserve your attention. Academy voters may believe they can rest on their laurels and put less pressure on next year’s nominees.

But they would be wrong.

More on Chloé Zhao’s historic victory:Chloé Zhao, 39, is the first woman of color to win the Oscar for best director for “Nomadland”.

Jack

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