Analysis: Diversity at the Oscars

Updated: May 14, 2019

The 2018 Oscars highlighted inclusion, diversity, and empowerment within Hollywood. By Gabriel Arizon, Staff Writer

During its nearly four-hour run-time, the 90th Annual Academy Awards was quite a dry show leaving not much surprise in terms of who or what film won in each category. However, this was the first Oscars show since the numerous sexual harassment allegations against members of Hollywood arose and the #MeToo movement was birthed. As such, the 2018 Oscars looked to light a wave of inclusion, diversity, and empowerment within the film industry.

Kumail Nanjiani and Lupita Nyong’o, who came out to introduce the nominees for production design, made the most political statement of the night when they stated they stood by the Dreamers. The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, has been threatened by President Trump and his move to end the program, leaving its recipients unsure if they will remain in the United States. As both of them are immigrants, Nanjiani and Nyong’o spoke about dreams being the foundation of Hollywood and of the United States.

“To all the dreamers out there, we stand with you,” said Nanjiani to the audience in front of him and viewers watching at home.

While white actors dominated the actor and actress categories, there were several diverse winners who were accomplished in other categories. Jordan Peele made Oscar history by becoming the first black writer to win the award for Best Original Screenplay with "Get Out", “Coco” took home two awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, and Guillermo del Toro’s film, “The Shape of Water,” received 13 nominations and took home four awards, including Best Picture.

By the end of the night, it was clear that the main theme of the show was female empowerment. From a Time’s Up speech given by Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd, and Annabella Sciorra, to the rousing speech given by Francis McDormand, it was clear that the industry would be different moving forward. Women will have more control over what roles they play and what movies they star in.

“Look around, ladies and gentlemen. We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” said a powerful McDormand. “Invite us into your office in a couple of days, or you can come to ours, whichever suits you best, and we’ll tell you all about them.”

With diversity in awards and empowerment in film, a new Hollywood seems to be coming together with full support from the actors, actresses, and filmmakers alike.