Oscar Night Diversity and Blunders

For the past couple of years the Academy Awards has been accused of not being as diverse as it should be in regards to nominees and winners, but things took a slightly different turn this year. Here are a few highlights. 

Moonlight’s Historic Night: It goes without saying that this film, which follows a man’s life from childhood to adulthood coming to terms with his homosexuality, had a huge night. 

  • First LGBT themed film to win a Best Picture Oscar. 
  • First film with an all black cast to win a Best Picture Oscar. 
  • Supporting Actor winner Mahershala (mah-HER-shuh-luh) Ali (Ah-Lee) became the first Muslim to win an Oscar in a acting category. 

In an acceptance speech for Moonlight’s Best Adapted Screenplay award, writer-director Barry Jenkins said, “All you people who feel like there’s no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected, the academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back, and for the next four years we will not leave you alone and we will not forget you.”

Sending Your Message Loud & Clear: Iranian writer-director Asghar (AHSS-gar) Farhadi (far-HAW-dee) who won the foreign language film Oscar for The Salesman, protested the awards due to Trump’s anti-Islamic policies. In his acceptance speech, delivered by Iranian-American entrepreneur and space explorer Anousheh (An-ousheh) Ansari (an-sari), Farhardi said, “Dividing the world into categories of ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ creates fear.” He also called the travel ban “inhumane”.

The Error Heard Around The World:
So, about that Best Picture mishap. It has been reported that a PricewaterhouseCoopers accounting firm representative/Oscar night envelope handler may have been distracted prior to the Best Picture announcement. Reports say that Brian Cullinan tweeted & deleted a photo of Best Actress winner Emma Stone moments before handing presenters the wrong envelope. Due to this mishap, Cullinan & his colleague Martha Ruiz have been “removed from all Academy Award dealings.”

Even with all of the chaos it turned out to be an amazing night. Congratulations to all of the winners! 

FULL STORY

The film Moonlight, which follows a man’s life from childhood to adulthood coming to terms with his homosexuality, had a hugely historic night. Supporting Actor winner Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim to win an Oscar in a acting category. Later that evening in his acceptance speech for Moonlight’s Best Adapted Screenplay award, writer-director Barry Jenkins said:

 “All you people who feel like there’s no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected, the academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back, and for the next four years we will not leave you alone and we will not forget you”

Moonlight is the first LGBT themed film and the first film with an all black cast to win a Best Picture Oscar award.

Supporting Actress winner Viola Davis became the first woman to win Oscar, Tony, and Emmy awards. Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi who won the foreign language film Oscar for The Salesman, protested the awards due to Trump’s anti-Islamic policies, but still delivered a powerful message about his feelings on the president’s travel ban. 

50 years after starring as the notorious gangsters Bonnie & Clyde, Hollywood legends Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway reunited on stage to announce the Best Picture category. Unfortunately, they were mistakenly given a duplicate copy of the Best Actress card. Once Warren realized something was amiss, he showed the card to Faye & she announced La La Land as the winner. Show producers came on stage with the correct card and La La Land producer, Jordan Horowitz, then announced that Moonlight was the actual winner. It has been reported that PricewaterhouseCoopers  accounting representative/Oscar night envelope handler, Brian Cullinan tweeted & deleted a photo of Best Actress winner Emma Stone & may have been distracted moments before handing the wrong envelope to the presenters. He & his colleague Martha Ruiz have been “removed from all Academy Award dealings.”

While Jordan Horowitz is continuously being applauded for his professional handling of the situation, many are upset that Moonlight’s historic moment has been overshadowed by this error. Their cast & crew’s time to give acceptance speeches was greatly minimized due to the length of time it took to correct the situation. In a recent Hollywood Reporter interview, Moonlight’s writer-director Barry Jenkins talks about the speech he actually wanted to give. Even with all of the chaos, it turned out to be an amazing night. Congratulations to all of the winners.

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