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Much has been made of the Oscars‘ stunning lack of diversity. The outrage over the overwhelming whiteness of the 2015 nominees even inspired #OscarsSoWhite, a worldwide Twitter trend that turned into a movement in the hours that followed the nominations. And it looks like the Oscars were listening after all.
Here are seven times the Oscars confronted their diversity problem (Sean Penn joke, aside) head on:
“Today we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest. Sorry, brightest,” Harris joked. Well, that didn’t take very long at all.
Six young filmmakers were chosen to become members of Team Oscar, and it didn’t go unnoticed that the winners — Chris Carmona, Justin Craig, Kelly FitzGerald, Justin Floyd, Rhianna Shaheen and Patrick Walker — were incredibly diverse. It’s a step in the right direction.
After poking fun of the Academy’s diversity problem, NPH managed to get in another dig for failing to nominate “Selma” actor David Oyelowo for Best Actor. Responding to audience applause for Oyelowo, Harris joked, “Oh sure, now you like him.” We’re pretty sure Oyelowo appreciated it. (When NPH mispronounced his name? Probably not as much.)
Common and John Legend’s performance of “Glory” not only received three standing ovations — it also reduced David Oyelowo, Oprah and Chris Pine to tears — but it also took home the Oscar for Best Original Song. And they used their acceptance speech to advocate for change.
“We know that right now the struggle for freedom and justice is real,” Legend said. “We live in the most incarcerated country in the world. There are more black men under correctional control today than were under slavery in 1850.”
The Mexican filmmaker was seeing gold Sunday night when he not only won the Oscar for Best Director, but his film “Birdman” also received the night’s biggest honor: Best Picture. Not too shabby, Iñárritu.
#2015 Oscars#David Oyelow