Oscars see increasing diversity in presenters and nominees

INCLUSIVE REPRESENTATION — Both Guillermo del Toro (left) and Jordan Peele (right) were just a few of the nominees that represented a minority at this year’s ceremony. (BBC and Vanity Fair)


For 90 years now, the Oscars has celebrated cinema.

This year it was also a celebration of the growth of diversity  and culture in the film industry. “The greatest thing art does, our industry does, is to erase the lines in the sand we should continue doing that when the world tells us to make them deeper,” said Guillermo del Toro,  this year’s winner for Best Director.

Both the presenters and nominees this year were far more diverse than in past years. Daniela  Vega was the first openly transgender performer to present at  the Oscars, introducing Hope College alumnus Sufjan Stevens (‘98).

Jordan Peele became the first Black man to win Best Original Screenplay.

Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, the Best Original Song winners, mentioned that their category had seen almost 50/50 gender equality in its nominees.

There were also a few multitalented nominees this year.  Kobe Bryant has received many awards for his basketball career  including the NBA Most Valuable Player award in 2008. Now  he also has an Oscar for Best Animated Short. Mary J. Blige was the first person to be nominated for both Best Original Song and Best Supporting Actress at the same time.

Amidst the talk of inclusion of all races and genders, though, the show was still entertaining. Host Jimmy Kimmel brought in elements of fun in a couple of ways.

During his introductory speech, Kimmel announced that  the award winner with the shortest acceptance speech would  win a jet ski. It was a running gag throughout the show. Mark Bridges, who won Best Costume Design for “Phantom Thread,”  earned the prize with his 36 second speech.  Kimmel also wanted to provide the actors with an opportunity to thank moviegoers, but in  a far more personal way.

At a theater across the street  from where the Oscars were taking place, an unsuspecting audience was watching a preview of  “A Wrinkle in Time.” Bringing baskets of movie snacks, and  even a couple of hotdog cannons, several of the celebrities  followed Kimmel across the street to surprise them.

While the entertainment industry is clearly making headway in inclusion, Best Actress  winner Frances McDormand  hinted at the need for more action in her acceptance speech.  She ended her acceptance  speech with two words: “inclusion rider.”

A “rider” is any extra stipulation that an actor includes on  their contract.

An “inclusion rider” would be a stipulation that diversity both  on the screen and in behind the camera roles would be necessary  in order for an actor to work on a film.

Here’s to hoping for continued progress. In the meantime, here are the winners:

– Best Picture: “The Shape of Water”

– Director: Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”

– Actor: Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

– Actress: Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

– Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

– Supporting Actress: Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”

– Original Screenplay: “Get Out”

– Adapted Screenplay: “Call Me by Your Name”

– Foreign Language Film: “A Fantastic Woman”

– Animated Feature: “Coco”

– Visual Effects: “Blade Runner 2049”

– Film Editing: “Dunkirk”

– Animated Short: “Dear Basketball”

– Live Action Short: “The Silent Child”

– Documentary Short: “Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405”

– Score: “The Shape of Water”

– Song: “Remember Me” from “Coco”

– Production Design: “The Shape of Water”

– Cinematography: “Blade Runner 2049”

– Costume Design: “Phantom Thread”

– Makeup and Hairstyling: “Darkest Hour”

– Documentary Feature: “Icarus”

– Sound Editing: “Dunkirk”

– Sound Mixing: “Dunkirk”

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