Oscars So Melanin

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The 89th Academy Awards aired tonight and it wasn’t another year of #OscarsSoWhite. The awards show began with Mahershali Ali winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Juan in highly acclaimed film, Moonlight.

A couple months ago we spoke with John Gibson, Advisor for Inclusion and Multicultural Outreach at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and on the topic of #OscarsSoWhite he believed “the key to progress on that issue is making films that reflect the broad, diverse viewpoints and experiences of all Americans.”

Last year, Actress Jada Pinkett Smith and Filmmaker Spike Lee boycotted the Academy Awards starting the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. Due to the White infused nominee list at the 2016 Oscars, Pinkett Smith took to her Facebook to post a video where she said “Begging for acknowledgement, or even asking, diminishes dignity and diminishes power. And we are a dignified people, and we are powerful,” she said. “So let’s let the Academy do them, with all grace and love. And let’s do us, differently.”

Spike Lee also took to his Instagram last year to say “We cannot support it and [I] mean no disrespect … But, how is it possible for the second consecutive year all 20 contenders under the acting category are white? And let’s not even get into the other branches”.

There was a lot of controversy over the boycott but it definitely worked. It brought much needed attention to the lack of diversity during Hollywood’s biggest night. This year, the nominees list was definitely diversified with Black Actors being represented in all of the top nominations in movies like Moonlight, Hidden Figures and Fences.

Viola Davis gave an amazing speech as she took home the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences.

Congratulations to Moonlight for winning the Oscar for Best Picture, although it started out with La La Land winning when the Warren Beatty read the wrong name on the card.

(Updated) 2/27 8:58 AM – PriceWaterHouseCoopers, the firm that handles the ballots, releases a statement on the mishap.

We sincerely apologize to “Moonlight,” “La La Land,” Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture. The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.

We appreciate the grace with which the nominees, the Academy, ABC, and Jimmy Kimmel handled the situation.


Check out the full list of winners for the 89th Academy Awards below.

Best Picture: “Moonlight”

Actor: Casey Affleck, “Manchester by the Sea”

Actress: Emma Stone, “La La Land”

Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, “Moonlight”

Supporting Actress: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Animated Feature: “Zootopia”

Cinematography: “La La Land”

Costume Design: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

Direction: Damien Chazelle, “La La Land”

Documentary Feature: “O.J.: Made in America”

Documentary Short: “The White Helmets”

Film Editing: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Foreign Language Film: “The Salesman”

Makeup and Hairstyling: “Suicide Squad”

Score: “La La Land”

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