The 88th Academy Awards wrapped up yesterday, and apart from the glitz and glamour, a lot of important issues were subtly raised by the A-listers. From host Chris Rock’s speech that slayed the Oscar’s opening, to sweetheart Leonardo DiCaprio who addressed global warming, it is great that the Oscars – watched by millions of people around the world – is used as a platform to broach these pressing subjects. Here are some of them:
Is Hollywood Racist?
Chris Rock as the host of the Oscars naturally brought up the topic of diversity, while casually referring to celebrities who boycotted the event. He also boldly called out the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, “If they nominated a host, I wouldn’t even get this job.”
Even Kevin Hart casually weighed in, saying, “I only came tonight because I thought I was gonna get a seat in the front row!” After a roar of laughter, Hart continued, “You know with all the black stuff that’s happening, I thought they’d come to me”.
At the end of the day, it’s not just about the black people, but everybody. Every minority communities in America want to be treated as equals as they should, and be given equal opportunities. More importantly, would Hollywood care? Would they eventually be able to leave behind the idea of white supremacy?
Equal Rights for LGBT
Sam Smith proudly proclaimed that he’s the first openly gay person to win an Oscar, but that of course has been proven wrong by multiple parties. “I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day,” Smith said after receiving his Oscar.
The LGBT communities all over the world are struggling for equal rights, and most of them are still being given a hard time by society. Some even still regard the topic of homosexuality as taboo. For someone influential and successful like Sam Smith to get up on stage and openly saying that he’s proudly gay, I hope it would incite at least 10 people around the world to change their minds and stereotypes about the LGBT community.
Pledge for Sexual Abuse
Joe Biden made a surprise entrance at the Oscars – to a Star Wars theme – and was greeted with a standing ovation. Just before he introduced Lady Gaga for her performance, he addressed the issue of sexual abuse and urged everyone present to take a pledge. “I will intervene in situations where consent is not, or cannot be given.” Biden said. Given that the rape culture is proliferating despite numerous campaigns going on around the world, and the idea of consent still vague to many – it is vital that someone brings that up in a prestigious event like the Oscars.
Skin Color Shouldn’t Even Be an Issue
The best Oscar quote goes to Alejandro Inarritu. Upon receiving his Oscar for Best Director for The Revenant, Inarritu said, “Make sure once and forever that the colour of our skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair”. With Donald Trump trying to “make America great again” by popularising the idea of xenophobia, that is just what we needed to hear. Although there were no black winners this year, we saw winners from different backgrounds and ethnicities, and that is what makes America so special, it should be a place where anyone can make it. It’s a place that makes dreams come true. Inarritu is the walking example.
Climate Change & Global Warming
First, let us all rejoice once again in the fact that Leonardo DiCaprio has finally received his well-deserved-it’s-about-freaking-time Oscar. We probably expected him to say things like, “So glad I finally got my long-awaited award for 12 f*cking years of brilliant acting.” But no. Mr. Sweetheart instead chose to sound the alarm on climate change, telling us how far out the production team had to go just to get some snow for the scenes. He asserts that it is real and it’s happening, and REALLY need to do something about it. You probably did not pay attention to your science teacher when she tried to explain the repercussions of climate change, but I’m sure as hell that all of you will take it seriously now. Congrats on winning Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Revenant, Leo!