Oscars 2017: The Greatest BLACKlash... Ever?
Last night, the 89th Academy Awards took us for one heck of an emotional joyride. If a tear didn't well up in your eye at least once during course of the night, do yourself a favor and check your pulse. In recent years, the Oscars have undergone a great deal of scrutiny for the lack of diversity and representation for films casting Black actors and under Black direction. #OscarsSoWhite took the social media airwaves by storm, calling out the Academy's shortcomings in their recognition of people of color as well as the overall discrepancy of people of color in Hollywood.
Now, we still have a long way to go as far fully representing all people through modern cinematography, but last night proved to be a step in the right direct.
At any rate, we have a lot of #BlackGirlMagic and #BlackBoyJoy to cover, so let's take it from the top:
Janelle "the Soul Snatcher" Monae
The Oscar's red carpet is the biggest "Who Wore What" moment of award season, but this year, the Electric Lady herself singlehandedly stole the show. The Hidden Figures and Moonlight actress, arrived in a bedazzled gown, feathered, sequins-ed, and jeweled to the Gawds. From her hair to her makeup, every inch of the ensemble deserved all of the raves and reviews she received. Then, to strike the nail in the coffin, Monae floated in the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscars Party in an Alexandre Vauthier Couture dress, slaying us once more. 'Cuse me while I readjust my wig.
Don't get it twisted, Mahershala Ali is no overnight success. The Moonlight actor has withstood a 15-year acting career with standout roles in the Hunger Games, the Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Netflix's critically acclaimed series House of Cards. Last night, Ali made history as the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar, taking home the first award of the evening for Best Actor in a Supporting Role; only the fifth Black actor to receive a Supporting Actor Oscar.
Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae, and Octavia Spencer
From their unapologetic acceptance speeches to their gowns, the ladies of Hidden Figures have been slaying award season in its entirety, and last night was no different. The trio took the time out to honor one of the three women behind the Hidden Figures story, Katherine Johnson. At 98 years old, the NASA physicist took the stage to receive a standing ovation from the audience, letting out a simple "Thank you" in reply. What an amazing moment for the "NASA and American hero," as Henson put it.
Ezra Edelman Wins Best Documentary Feature in a Black AF Category
In a category dominated by Black directors, 4 of the 5 films nominated (to be exact), Ezra Edelman took home the award for Best Documentary Feature. I have to say, between all the nominees, I was sure my girl, Ava DuVernay would have taken home the prize for her groundbreaking work for the 13th, especially after her 2015 Oscar snub for Selma. But hey, if one of us wins, we all win, right?
Viola Davis' Wins Best Supporting Actress for Fences
The queen, Viola Davis took home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Fences. This is a huge win for Davis, as she joins the company of Whoopi Goldberg as the second Black woman to win this honor. Still, I have to say the real win came from her acceptance speech; did anyone else weep?
Just me? Oh.. okay. When Viola wins, she wins; and her acceptance speeches are award worthy as well:
“You know, there is one place that all the people with the greatest potential are gathered and that’s the graveyard... People ask me all the time — what kind of stories do you want to tell, Viola? And I say exhume those bodies. Exhume those stories — the stories of the people who dreamed big and never saw those dreams to fruition, people who fell in love and lost.”
Are you crying yet?
Moonlight is Receives Best Picture Award After La La Land Received Best Picture Award?!
And now, for the ultimate WTF moment of the evening.
I won't bore you with the details here because I'm sure your day has been filled with the many headline and tweets about #EnvelopeGate, however, I will offer a few points:
1.) I'm not entirely mad at Warren Beatty. What would you have done if you were presenting the biggest award on the biggest night in award season? On live television?? Now, what I didn't care for was his quick passed off move to Faye Dunaway for her to do his dirty work. I wish he would have just been honest about the situation said what he said after the whole debacle unfolded, explaining; “I want to tell you what happened. I opened the envelope and it said, ‘Emma Stone, La La Land.’" Just like that. A simple moment of honest would have saved everyone a lot of time, tears, and confusion.
2.) Still, you gotta give it up to La La Land's director, Jordan Horowitz. This guy. His class. The bold truth telling he displayed at a time where dishonesty has clouded our judgment. He stood firm and directed the issue with dignity in a moment I'm sure he was overwhelmed with disbelief and sadness. Many salutes.
3.) Jimmy Kimmel, you're fired. No more award shows for you, honey. And he was doing so well! But the sly comments and tasteless jokes, I could have lived without. Things like, “I think you guys should keep it anyway. Personally, I blame Steve Harvey for this,” and “I would like to see you get an Oscar, anyway. Why can’t we just give out a whole bunch of them?” You know why Jimmy? Because that's not how it works. When you lose, you lose. And when BeyonceDenzelHilaryAtlantaFalcons lost, they didn't just get a participation award. They just lost.
4.) Personally, I couldn't have asked for a more magical, holy ghost-filled conclusion to Black History Month 2017. As Barry Jenkins put it, "Very clearly, even in my dreams this could not be true." But it is Barry, is it.
Before you go: Let me know in the comments below what your favorite Oscar moments were from last night. Did you cry? Who was best dressed? Anyone you feel got snubbed? Did you feel #EnvelopeGate was a scam? Leave a comment sharing your opinion; I'd love to hear!
Peace, peace, peace,