A‌ ‌more‌ ‌diverse‌ ‌Oscars‌ ‌amidst‌ ‌a‌ ‌pandemic‌ ‌

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Anthony Hopkins takes home the title of Best Actor for his role in “The Father.”

Amaya Rothrock, Editor in Chief

 

On April 25, the 93rd annual Academy Awards Ceremony, the Oscars, took place after being postponed in February due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event took place in Los Angeles, California with no host. The event was held in-person with the nominees and presenters at Union Station, Los Angeles. Over 20 other locations for the ceremony were set up across the country and in the United Kingdom to comply with restricted travelling and social distancing guidelines.  

One of the ceremony’s producers, Steven Soderbergh, explained that he and other producers wanted to do everything possible to create a normal Oscars experience by ensuring all nominees and presenters had a location available to them that would adhere to their safety and ensure that they will not have to present themselves via Zoom, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 2021 annual Academy Awards Ceremony was unlike any other, similar to many events during the past year, and A-list celebrities discovered safe ways to celebrate the film industry. 

There were many ups and downs this year regarding the winnings. The film, Nomadland, took the night by receiving awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress. The film has been raved about as it also won two Golden Globes last February. Nomadland was directed by Chloé Zhao who then became the first woman of color and second woman to win the award for Best Director in 93 years. 

Yuh-Jung-Youn won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Minari, another major win for the Asian community. She is the first Korean performer to win an acting Oscar, and also the second Asian to win the award. 

Other history-making moments include the win of Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson, the first black women to receive the Oscars for Best Makeup and Hairstyling for the movie Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The ceremony took viewers by surprise at the very end of the evening when the final award was announced, Best Actor. Anthony Hopkins received the award for his role in The Father over the late Chadwick Boseman. Critics and fans had been rooting for Boseman leading up to the ceremony, in hopes that he would be the big winner. 

The Oscars additionally showed some movement towards being more inclusive this year as nine out of twenty acting nominations were awarded to people of color. The ceremony has faced a lot of criticism in previous years, as people claimed the Oscars were not inclusive after the 2016 ceremony showcased all 20 acting nominations were for white people, and films with black themes were “shut out of the best picture category,” stated the New York Times.  After the 2016 ceremony, people within the film industry began to realize it was time for change. And this year shows just that.