It appears Academy heard the protests of #OscarsSoWhite loud and clear, and while there’s a lot of work still left to be done in order to ensure more films about the human condition, about dreamers and adventurers, and about everyday people continue to be diverse and recognized, last night was a great start.
The first award of the night went to Mahershala Ali, who was the first Muslim to win in the actor category in the nearly nine decades of the Academy Awards. He won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Juan in “Moonlight.”
“I want to thank my teachers, my professors. I had so many wonderful teachers and one thing that they consistently told me… is that it wasn’t about it, it’s not about you. It’s about these characters. You’re a servant– you’re in service to these stories, to these characters. I’m so blessed to have had an opportunity. It was about Juan, it was about Chiron, it was about Paula,” Ali said during his acceptance speech.
#MahershalaAli wins an Oscar. Feeling so proud. #BlackAndMuslim 🙌🏽 #Oscars2017
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) February 27, 2017
Naturally, his accomplishment was undercut by host Jimmy Kimmel, who joked that naming Ali’s newborn daughter must have been difficult because of his surname. “You can’t name her Amy,” he said, according to telegraph.co.uk.
Microaggressions wouldn’t prevail last night, though. Viola Davis became the first black woman to win an Oscar, Emmy, and Tony award for acting when she won the Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Fences.”
“I became an artist– and thank God I did– because we are the only profession that celebrates what it means to live a life,” Davis said during her acceptance speech, which has been lauded as the best one of the night.
“Moonlight”‘s second win of the night was for Best Adapted Screenplay.
“I tell my students that I teach sometimes, be in love with the process not the result but I really wanted this result because a bajillion people are watching. And all you people out there who feel like there’s no mirror for you, that your life is not reflected, the Academy has your back, the ACLU has your back, we have your back. And for the next four years we will not leave you alone, we will not forget you,” said director Barry Jenkins during his acceptance speech.
Best Foreign Language Film went to “The Salesman.” Iranian director Asghar Farhadi did not attend the ceremony but his statement was read. “My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of the other six nations whom have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the U.S.”
“Moonlight” would also go on to win Best Picture, but not without a wildly confusing, yikes moment. Presenters Faye Dunway and Warren Beatty were apparently given the wrong envelope. Inside was the winner for best actress– Emma Stone for “La La Land.” Upon seeing Stone’s name, the presenters announced “La La Land” as the winner, and it wasn’t until the directors were two speeches deep before the Academy attempted to fix the mix-up. The cast of La La Land handled it with grace and handed the award off to the cast of “Moonlight” with what appeared to be sincere smiles.
STILL SPEECHLESS pic.twitter.com/qe3NUDWAHM
— Barry Jenkins (@BandryBarry) February 27, 2017
Other winners include:
Best makeup and hairstyling- “Suicide Squad”, Best documentary- “OJ: Made in America”, Best sound editing- “Arrival”, Best sound mixing- “Hacksaw Ridge”, Best animated short- “Piper”, Best animated feature- “Zootopia”, Best production design- “La La Land”, Best visual effects- The Jungle Book”, Best film editing- “Hacksaw Ridge”, Best documentary short- “The White Helmets”, Best live-action short- “Sing”, Best cinematography- “La La Land”, Best score- “La La Land”, Best song- City of Stars (La La Land), Best original screenplay- “Manchester by the Sea”, Best director- Damien Chazelle (La La Land), Best actor- Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea), Best costume design- “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.”
Finally, any Oscars recap would be remiss if it left out fashion entirely. Here are a few of the best red-carpet photos.
Janelle: Are…are you sure?
Cinna: Yes, you’re the Mockingjay. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/qxiOAHVnm3
— Michael Blackmon 💫 (@blackmon) February 27, 2017
Black Boy Joy:
My boys from #Moonlight giving you black boy joy but in Calvin Klein pic.twitter.com/2479xzYImp
— Alternative Negro (@KingFumz) February 27, 2017
And another look:
Taraji P. Henson brings Hollywood glam and elegance to the red carpet https://t.co/zgL1O7DIEV pic.twitter.com/cDH0YjjCte
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 27, 2017
Another major fashion statement of the night was ACLU blue ribbons. The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit, nonpartisan legal and advocacy organization that has been extremely active during the Trump administration as different policies have been considered and implemented that would affect the constitutionally protected rights of Americans. Many celebrities have been vocal about donating to and supporting the ACLU, and last night was no exception.