In light of #MeToo, #OscarsSoWhite, and a radically changed political landscape in the US, this year's Academy Awards ceremony was a call for change
05 Marzo 2018 13:40
Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water, about a woman who falls in love with a sea creature, scooped the top honours at the 2018 Oscars in Los Angeles on Sunday. Frances McDormand won best actress for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and Gary Oldman was named best actor for playing Winston Churchill in World War Two epic Darkest Hour. The Shape of Water won the most Oscars with four, including best film.
But aside from which films and actors won top gongs there was a lot going on at this year’s ceremony. Following the recent #MeToo movement, calls for greater diversity with #OscarsSoWhite, and a tumultuous political landscape in the US, the Oscars ceremony was driven by deeper social issues. Here are some of the most important moments of the night.
Frances McDormand asked all the women nominees to stand
Frances McDormand used her acceptance speech to hail more diversity in the industry and urged all the women who had been nominated to stand up. It was a reference to the recent #TimesUp movement that began after Hollywood was gripped by a sexual harassment scandal. ‘Look around,’ she said. ‘We all have stories to tell and projects we need financing.’ She also finished her speech by saying: ‘I have two words to say: inclusion rider’, nodding towards a little known contract clause that lets actors demand diversity on both sides of the camera.
Common’s rap lashes out at Trump and the NRA
Common’s freestyle ripped into Trump and the NRA: ‘On Oscar night, this is the dream we tell. A land where dreamers live and freedom dwells. Immigrants get the benefits. We put up monuments for the feminists. Tell the NRA they in God’s way. These days we dance between love and hate. A president that chose with hate. He don’t control our fate. Because God is great. When they go low we stay in the heights. I stand for peace, love and women’s rights.’ 10 activists representing causes such as #GirlsLikeUs, Planned Parenthood, the Standing Rock Youth Council, Black Lives Matter and Sandy Hook Promise stood on stage with Common and Andra Day as they performed Stand up for Something.
The ceremony supported the Me Too and Time's Up campaigns with a segment presented by actresses Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra, who have all accused disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. ‘The changes we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices, joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying: Time's up,’ Judd said.
Jimmy Kimmel lands some blows
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel used a giant statue of the Oscar award on stage next to him as an example of how men in Hollywood should act. ‘Oscar is the most respected man in Hollywood, he keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a rude word, and has no penis at all. That's the kind of men we need,’ he said. Kimmel also added, ‘Here's how clueless Hollywood is about women: We made a movie called What Women Want and it starred Mel Gibson.’ In reference to acclaimed gay movie Call Me By Your Name, he pointed out that it didn't make a lot of money at the box office, saying, ‘We don't make movies like Call Me by Your Name to make money, we make them to upset Mike Pence.’
Sebastian Lelio’s film A Fantastic Woman was the first movie that features a transgender storyline and an openly trans lead to win an Oscar for best foreign language film. The film’s star Daniela Vega also made history by becoming the first transgender presenter of an award at the Oscars. Jordan Peele became the first African American ever to win the writing prize for original screenplay in Get Out. James Ivory became the oldest ever winner of an Oscar aged 89, with his award for best adapted screenplay for Call Me by Your Name.
Helen Mirren knocking back a tequila shot
Helen Mirren was being interviewed on the red carpet by ABC News when she spoke of her decision to have a cheeky tequila shot: ‘It was just given to me, fantastic, a nice shot of tequila for the nerves.’