Celebrating Diversity at the 2018 Oscars


Disney ABC Television Group via Flickr

The 90th Academy Awards took place in Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, CA on March 4th, 2018.

Hollywood’s Dolby Theater was packed with well-known celebrities on Sunday, March 4, 2018, as everyone gathered around their televisions to watch the 90th annual Academy Awards. From fan-favorite movies to show-stopping gowns, this year’s Oscars was one to watch. Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the award show was filled with laughter and drama, as Kimmel made sure to incorporate his famous sense of humor into his position as the host.

Before the show started, celebrities strutted down the red carpet giving interviews and posing for fans and photographers, showcasing their distinct outfits. Some of the most talked about outfits were worn by Jennifer Lawrence, Chadwick Boseman, Adam Rippon, and Rita Moreno.  Lawrence wore a stunning gold dress with a defined bodice by Dior, Boseman donned a long-coated suit with silver embroidery around the lapels (reminiscent of the outfits he wore in Black Panther), Rippon sported a particularly strappy number, and Moreno wore the same dress she wore at the 1962 Oscars when she won best supporting actress for West Side Story. 

The movie Shape of Water took home the most Oscars of the night, winning best picture, best original score, best production design, and best director. In this hit film, the protagonist Elisa, a lonely, mute woman who works as a cleaning lady in a government agency, comes across a unique, reptilian creature and with whom she forms a strong bond. Other movies such as The Darkest Hour and Blade Runner 2049 also took home a couple of awards of their own.

As is the case with many such events these days, the Oscars had its own key political, personal, and powerful highlights. Frances McDormand delivered a powerful speech about diversity in Hollywood. This year’s awards ceremony focused more on the exceptional number of talented female nominees who were proud to stand up at the end of McDormand’s speech. Before introducing the rest of the awards, presenters Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani made one of the most surprising political statements of the night: they introduced themselves as immigrants. Lupita Nyong’o was born in Mexico, but she was raised in Kenya; Kumail Nanjiani is originally from Pakistan. Their speech caused some common controversy around the topic of immigration, but both Nyong’o and Nanjiani were nonetheless proud and honored to have been nominated for an Oscar and given so many wonderful opportunities in Hollywood throughout the years.

As always, there is an immense craze for the Oscars and the celebrities and movies involved. However, this year, the number of viewers dropped to an all-time low: 26.5 million viewers. This may be due to the presence of movies with relatively lower box office numbers; this year’s movies did not garner the same amount of hype as larger films in the past have, such as Titanic in 1998. This, however, did not stop many Pine Crest students and faculty to take time out of their weekend to enjoy this annual show.

Junior Shayne Pollock shared her thoughts on this year’s awards: “I loved the awards ceremony this year. I feel like some of the speeches were very powerful and they provided a platform for people in power to show their support towards relevant causes; I was inspired by Frances McDormand’s speech.”

Though the usual joke-filled monologue and slew of high-fashion dresses of the Oscars remained, this year’s Oscars certainly had a focus on inclusion and diversity, with many winners speaking about their personal experiences as immigrants, for example, or pledging to help change the culture of Hollywood.  With another year of movies to come, Hollywood may become more inclusive of a variety of different stories based on the success of movies that include people of different shapes, genders, races, and ethnicities, making room for everyone in one of the most exclusive industries.

Sources: CNN, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times

Photo Source: Disney ABC Television Group via Flickr