There was a common theme during last night’s broadcast of the 90th Academy Awards: The awards show used its platform to support change, celebrate diversity, and empower women. One of the most notable moments showcasing this focus was its segment that acknowledged the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.
Actresses Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek, and Annabella Sciorra—all of whom accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct last year—took the stage together to make clear that no one, in Hollywood or not, should ever feel afraid to speak up any longer. They added that the world has entered a new era in which equality, diversity, inclusion, and intersectionality are celebrated at the forefront rather than the fringe.
“We salute those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the biased perceptions against their gender, their race, and ethnicity to tell their stories,” Salma Hayek said regarding the diverse artists who made waves in film this past year.
“We salute those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the biased perceptions against their gender, their race, and ethnicity to tell their stories.” —Salma Hayek
After the actresses’ introduction, the broadcast cut to a pre-recorded taping that highlighted industry trailblazers who kicked down stereotypes, like Kumail Nanjiani of The Big Sick, and promoted female empowerment, like Greta Gerwig of Lady Bird.
That segment wasn’t the only highlight of the evening, though: Jordan Peele became the first African-American writer to win best original screenplay, for Get Out, and Emma Stone introduced the nominees for the best director category by simply saying “these four men and Greta Gerwig.” And, of course, there was Frances McDormand’s speech.
After taking the stage to accept her award for Best Actress in Three Billboards Outside Ebbings, Missouri, McDormand used her time at the mic to ask all the female nominees in every category stand up with her—and left everyone with a smart proposition: inserting an “inclusion rider” into their contracts so those working on the film—both cast and crew!—would need to satisfy a level of diversity. Talk about making history.
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