While the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag was certainly not needed this year, the Academy Awards are almost never without controversy.
Although the awards celebrated diversity in many ways, some folks were not exactly pleased with the choice for Best Picture. Still, the show went better than most expected considering the lack of a host and last year’s abysmal ratings.
The show likely owes much of its success this year to the performers. Not only did the show open with Queen, but it also featured many other talented acts as well. At times, it almost felt as if the Grammy’s simply decided to have an encore.
Presenters included Pharrell, Tom Morello, and Queen Latifah, and Lady Gaga was one of the most brightly shining stars of the night.
The musical performances and pop culture injections overall really propelled the show.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe finally managed to make an impact on the Academy. Black Panther earned not one but three awards, two of which were historic wins for African American women.
First, Ruth Carter became the first African American woman to win for Best Costume Design. Then, Hanna Beachler became the first woman of color to win for Best Production Design.
The film also won for its original score.
In addition to wins for Marvel’s Black Panther, there were several other instances of inclusiveness.
Of the four acting awards, three were won by people of color. Rami Malek, a first-generation American of Egyptian descent landed the award for Best Actor. And Regina King and Mahershala Ali both took home Oscars for their supporting roles.
Plus, Spike Lee finally won his first competitive Oscar as well.
Marvel’s PG-rated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse also celebrated a win for diversity with its Oscar for Best Animated Feature.
The Academy Awards really did seem to offer a breath of fresh air in terms of inclusion. However, not everyone was thrilled with the fact that Green Book was awarded the Oscar for Best Picture.
Spike Lee even seemed to boycott the announcement, rising from his seat, turning his back, and nearly walking out. He later joked backstage that “the ref made the wrong call.”
After taking so many steps in the right direction, to many folks, it felt like a step back. Some even went so far as to call it the worst Best Picture win since Crash.