Arts and Entertainment

Controversy at the Oscars


The New Year’s award season has come to a close, ending with a bang at the Academy Awards on Sunday, February 28th. Chris Rock hosted the three hour show, making sure that the #OscarsSoWhite controversy did not go unrecognized. Rock joked about the matter throughout the entire show, exposing the issue in a way that was not outright offensive, but still got the job done.

“You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job. So y’all would be watching Neil Patrick Harris right now.”

Since the Oscar nominations were announced, many black actors and others who were upset about the lack of black nominees turned to twitter and other social media to express their anger. A similar problem occurred last year, and no steps were taken to change it for this year. The populace is angry because there were movies with black actors deserving of awards, in many people’s opinions. Some movies were even nominated for awards, but the people nominated were only the white members of the movie. “Straight Outta Compton” was nominated for best original screenplay writing, but the writers were all white, while no black cast members were nominated. The white supporting actor from “Creed” was nominated, but not the black writer, director or the lead actor.

From the get-go Rock confronted the diversity issue head on in his opening monologue, and kept reiterating his point throughout the show, with help from black comedians like Whoopi Goldberg who inserted themselves into scenes from Oscar-nominated movies to depict the racial inequality and other black actors who spoke during the show. Pointing out the obvious diversity controversy wasn’t the only issue discussed throughout the course of night though.

Another headline of the evening was Leonardo DiCaprio’s first career Oscar. He made his acceptance speech rather political by discussing global warming and climate problems. Vice President Joe Biden also came on stage to talk about sexual abuse while introducing Lady Gaga’s performance.

This year The Oscars tried to shorten its length, by having all the people the winners were thanking shown at the bottom of the screen. However, the attempt failed. The winners still thanked all of their relatives, co-workers, others who helped them along the way, as if they were unaware that their thanks were being streamed across the screen for all to see anyways. The length of the show, even if shortened by the few winners who didn’t drag on their gratitude, was still well over three hours.

As for the awards, “Spotlight” came away with the best picture as well as the best original screenplay award. Another big winner was “The Revenant,” winning the awards for best actor in a leading role (Leonardo DiCaprio), best cinematography, and best directing. “Mad Max: Fury Road” won the most awards of the night, winning six out of their 10 nominations, with the film taking home the Oscars for many technical categories: best costume design, best film editing, best makeup and hairstyling, best production design, best sound editing, and best sound mixing.