LOS ANGELES – In a break with tradition, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to end its Oscar ceremony on Sunday with the award for Best Picture for Best Actor.
It was easy to understand why. The late Chadwick Boseman, nominated for his brilliant performance in “Ma Rainey Black Black”, was a fugitive favorite, and an acceptance speech by his widow was sure to be an emotional moment. In addition, the Best Actor award went to a black man only four times in 93 years, and celebrating Mr. Bosman at the climax of the night – after a year in which racial justice was at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness – an outstanding point Will focus on the Academy’s aggressive diversity and inclusion efforts over the years.
It bounced back in style.
The film was set up instead Anthony Hopkins, Awarding her performancehusband“As a person suffering from dementia. Apparently Mr. Bosman would win, Mr. Hopkins decided not to attend the ceremony. With no one to accept the award, Oscar abruptly ended the academy.” Left it to face the question whether it had mistaken its voting body.
“At the age of 83, I didn’t expect to get this award – I really wasn’t,” Mr. Hopkins said In a video speech released from his hometown in Wales on Monday morning and during which he paid tribute to Mr. Bosman.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which declined to provide officers for interviews on Monday, has spent the last few years trying to move its house forward to be excused for putting All white slates of acting nominees in both 2015 and 2016. It has sprung to implement diversity-focused reforms, specifically inviting nearly 4,000 artists and officials – women and people focused on members of undergraded groups – to become members. The organization now has around 10,000 voters. It says that about 19 percent Its members are less than 10 percent of racial and ethnic communities in 2015.
This year’s ceremony was a performance opportunity for those efforts. On Sunday night, some award celebrities predicted that the film’s history would be made, with all four acting Oscars going to people of color for the first time. Along with Mr. Bossman, Viola Davis was seen as a major contender for Best Actress for playing the role of a blues singer in “Ma Rainey Black Black”. Best actress instead went to Francis MacDormand to play the role of a Dor van resident in “Nomadland”. This was her third best actress statue.
Nevertheless, the most diverse group of nominees in Oscar history received several notable wins for supporting roles: Daniel Kaluia, Who played Black Panther leader Fred Hampton in “Judas and the Black Messiah” Eu – Jung YunFor her fabulous canteen grandmother in “Minari”. She was the first Korean artist to win an acting Oscar, and only the second Asian woman. Chloe Zhao, who is Chinese, took home the Best Director award, only the second woman to do so in the history of the Oscars, and the first woman of color.
For the first time, two black women, Mia Neil and Jamaica Wilson, won an Oscar for makeup and hairstyling. Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”) was the first woman to take home a solo screenwriting Oscar in 13 years. And director Travon Free was the first black man to win in the Best Live-Action Short category. He was identified for “Two Distant Strangers”, a film about police brutality that he made with Martin Desmond Rowe.
“This is the blackest Oscar ever,” quipped Lil Rill Haveri, who acted as the MC for a music trivia game to the end of the telecast, and sang a song from Glenn Close dancing to “Da Butt.” Soundtrack to Spike Lee’s “School Days”.
Many agreed that the diversity of this year’s winners proved that the film industry had become more inclusive. Others wonder if this is another anomaly in a strange year, with most of the studios delaying the release of many of their big-budget films because theaters were closed nationwide, and those films were released Which was largely for small, independent films. On streaming services – if they were watched at all.
“Like everything else, the epidemic affected the way films were released, which affected, ultimately, the way people were nominated in films,” said Todd Boyd, University of Southern California’s Cinematic Arts Professor of Critical Studies in. “It would be difficult to know, until a few more years have passed, unless this year is truly representative of something or if it is just a state of epidemic.”
Hollywood has lived here before. In 2002, when Halle Berry won the Best Actress Award for “Monster Ball”, Best Actor went to Denzel Washington (“Training Day”). It was the first time that awards were awarded in the same year to those who inspired Mr. Washington to call him “two birds in one night” from the Oscar stage.
It seemed a moment of progress. But no other black woman has won the Best Actress award since then, and the last black person to win as Best Actor in 2007 was Forest Whitaker (“The Last King of Scotland”). The Academy’s support has been slightly more inclusive across categories. In the past 20 years, there were four Latino or Black supporting actor winners (none have been Asian), and six Black supporting actress winners (none were Asian or Latina).
“Kaluya said during his acceptance speech,” a lot of work has to be done, friends, and everyone in this room is on it. He said, “This is not a man’s job. Each of you has to work.”
The academy’s efforts to diversify its membership for decades came after relative stagnation. For example, in 2008, only 105 people were invited to join it.
As their 2016 overhaul pledge, the group rapidly increased the Oscar voting pool, inviting 4,046 artists and executives to become members over five years, including 1,383 from overseas. Virtually everyone was invited to join the academy, though not all. Recently one of the industry’s most prominent black directors, Ryan Coogler (“Black Panther”) Manifested That he did not accept domicile of the academy.
Last year, the academy announced a plan that would require films Meet diversity criteria To be eligible for a Best-Picture nomination starting with the 2024 Awards.
Nevertheless, those who are critical to the operation of the film industry are not ready to praise the efforts of the academy very much.
Rashad Robinson, president of the racial judicial organization Color of Change, said, “We have to constantly recognize that an institution like the academy did nothing to black people.” “What the academy has done over the years is a system and a set of rules that have stopped black careers, that have prevented people from being able to see fully, which had an economic impact on people is. Now that they are working to make some changes, let us accept those changes but let us not give them any award which they have not earned. “
The process has been drenching for the academy for years.
Inside the secret organization, factions were formed, with some insisting that the problem was not with the academy, but because of the lack of film companies and opportunities they provide for people of color. Several members of the academy also worked for these companies, which was another point of contention.
A glimpse of hostility came when Bill Mechanic, an Oscar-nominated producer and former studio executive, Resigned from the board of the academy In 2018.
Mr. Mechanic wrote in his resignation letter, “We have settled on the numerical answers to the problem of inclusion, barely realizing that it is the problem of the industry, more than it is of the academy.” “Instead we react to pressure. A governor also suggested that we will not accept a single white male in the academy, even if one does not care about merit! “
At the same time, some people have turned away from the Oscars due to lack of diversity. 10 million viewers participated in Sunday night’s telecastAccording to Nielsen, there is a 58 percent drop from last year. A member of the academy’s board of governors, who spoke on condition of anonymity due to confidentiality rules, said market research has shown that people of color are upset about the racial inequality of nominees (and the same More nominees get tired of seeing the kind of people), less interested in the ceremony. Some smaller civil rights groups have called for a boycott.
The case was for the April rule, which campaign finance attorneys generated in 2015 from the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag. Despite the changes in the organization, he said he believes the efforts of the academy have diversified his voting body.
“It’s still a popularity contest among all white men,” she said.
Others see reason for optimism at this year’s Oscars, no matter how they ended up.
“There is a film about Fred Hampton that does not feature him, but rather celebrates him, and offers this comprehensive story from a group of black filmmakers, do you know, it’s hard to believe that it has very little Will be made. Nominated, “Mr. Boyd said of” Judas and the Black Messiah. “And we can go through each of these examples. It’s great. It’s wonderful. I don’t want this to be a different incident.” Ho. “