Oscars 2017: A Triumph for Diversity

Oscars 2017 Viola DavisLet’s not let the Best Picture blunder distract us from the historic victory of diversity at the Oscars.

So in case you didn’t know, Moonlight won for Best Picture at this year’s Oscar ceremony. This amazing film, which also won for Best Drama at the Golden Globes, tells the story of growing up black and gay in America. It’s the first major LGBT film to win Best Picture, and one of the few that features the story of a person of color.

But what everyone’s talking about this year isn’t the Best Picture Winner at all, but the phenomenal blunder that caused La La Land to be announced as a winner first. As huge as this mix-up was in Oscar history, we should not make it the focus of this year, and this should definitely not diminish the historic achievement of Moonlight and the other winners of this year’s awards.

After the recent #OscarsSoWhite controversy, people have become more openly critical about the lack of diversity in Hollywood. Artists of color are continuously being sidelined or overlooked because white actors dominate the scene. Fortunately, at least this year, this is no longer the case. And if this is the beginning of real change in the color scheme of Hollywood, then I’m hopeful that things will only continue to get better.

Once the smoke clears from the Oscars Best Picture fiasco, some undeniable and unforgettable truths will remain. This year’s Academy Awards honored people of color and minorities, and this is truly worth celebrating. Here are just some of the major victories for diversity, according to the BBC:

Mahershala Ali became the first Muslim to win an Academy Award, for his work on Moonlight.

Viola Davis, winning Best Supporting Actress for Fences, became the first black woman to win an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony for Acting.

Notably, more actors of color were nominated this year than in previous ceremonies. There were Ruth Negga (Loving), Naomie Harris (Moonlight), and Dev Patel (Lion). The Rock and Auli’I Cravalho appeared on stage to celebrate Moana.

Time Magazine has gathered more figures HERE.

These are just a few of all the examples of how the tide is shifting to favor a more multicultural Hollywood, how art is finally beginning to imitate life. Let’s hope that this trend continues in the years to come and more movies and award shows (not just the Oscars) will celebrate great talent and more creative stories.