S2E24: Oscars in review

Last night was the 91st Oscars awards telecast and today we give our take on the award ceremony which was beset by both forced and unforced errors leading up to the airdate.

For the list of winners check out the roundup here.

The reviews were mostly positive given most people tuning in were probably aware of the controversies well beforehand.

On today’s show Denise from California and I discuss the show, the winners, losers and two of our favorites Marvel’s Black Panther and Spike Lee’s Blackklansmen.

Perhaps the person who had the most influence on the awards was former president Cheryl Boone Isaacs.

As I wrote in 2016, Ms. Isaacs announced a list of 683 invitees to the academy which included some of the most diverse members in academy history.

According to the LA Times that list included  

 Idris Elba, Brie Larson, John Boyega, America Ferrera, Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman…

… academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs announced sweeping changes aimed at doubling the number of women and minorities — then about 1,500 and 535, respectively — in the academy’s ranks by 2020. “The academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” Boone Isaacs said in a statement announcing the new initiative.”

According to the academy’s figures, the new class is 46% female, bringing the representation of women in the organization from 25% to 27%. Forty-one percent of the invitees are people of color, bringing minorities’ share of total academy membership from 8% to 11%.

Other  names on the list include actors Emma Watson, Tina Fey, Oscar Isaac, Tom Hiddleston and Ice Cube and directors Ryan Coogler, Julie Dash, Adam McKay and Patty Jenkins.”

The effect of that decision created the most diverse group of nominees and winners ever this year.

Mrs. Isaacs, who’s tenure expired in 2017, wrote an Op-ed a few days ago entitled “Why the Oscars still matter” reminding readers that her decision in 2016 is paying dividends.

During my tenure as president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, I worked to make sure the Academy benefited from that wider lens by inviting a more diverse group of members and electing a more representative board of governors. Those new members are now helping to select the Oscar nominees and winners. In 2019, the movies they nominated for best picture take viewers to, among other places, the Afrofuturist fictional kingdom of Wakanda and to Colorado Springs in the 1970s; to Mexico City in 1970-1971 and to Britain in the early 1700s. Our audiences and the stories we tell are global and rich in diversity. Every facet of our industry should be as well.

Second, the Oscars demonstrate what we all have to gain when people around the world are allowed to use their talents to tell stories here in the United States. The remarkable global diversity of writers, directors, producers and actors reads more like the roll call at the United Nations than anything we could have imagined last century, and that is a wonderful thing. The nominees for best director alone hail from Mexico, Poland and Greece, as well as from the United States. This year’s award season showed unprecedented inclusion of talent in front of as well as behind the camera.

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