Many predicted that this year’s Academy Awards would go to great lengths to celebrate diversity after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy came to a head last year. Fortunately, this year saw a surplus of quality content starring Black actors and actresses for the Academy to choose from.
As a result, Black Hollywood was celebrated in front of the entire world last night.
The highlight of the night was easily when “Moonlight” was presented with the award for Best Picture. While this would’ve likely been the brightest moment of the night regardless, it stole the show after becoming one of the most awkward moments of the year as “La La Land” was incorrectly named as the winner before the correction was made on national television.
The slip-up was so damaging that PwC, the accounting firm formerly known as Price Waterhouse Coopers, released a public statement to address the shocking moment.
“We sincerely apologize to ‘Moonlight,’ ‘La La Land,’ Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Oscar viewers for the error that was made during the award announcement for Best Picture,” a statement from the firm said. “The presenters had mistakenly been given the wrong category envelope and when discovered, was immediately corrected. We are currently investigating how this could have happened, and deeply regret that this occurred.”
Other highlights of the night included Mahershala Ali winning an award for Best Supporting Actor due to his role in “Moonlight,” making him the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar.
“I want to thank my teachers, my professors,” Ali said. “One thing they consistently told me […] was that it wasn’t about you. It’s not about you, it’s about these characters, you are a servant. You’re in service to these stories and these characters.”
Viola Davis delivered one of the most powerful speeches of the night while taking home the award for Best Supporting Actress for her work in “Fences.”
To the surprise of many, Denzel Washington lost out on Best Actor to Casey Affleck, who’s currently involved in his fair share of controversy. It’s worth noting that Washington had some interesting feelings about the #OscarsSoWhite campaign and actors openly criticizing the Academy.
Many others also had their own moments, some long overdue like Katherine Johnson, the inspiration for the film “Hidden Figures,” who made an appearance with the film’s cast and received a standing ovation for her contributions.
If the world is even slowly moving towards a brighter future, this year is more than a short-term solution to previous controversy and is a true sign of the future.