The Oscars were very diverse this year. We’re certainly not the only ones pointing that out. As award shows get more progressive, we have to think about what’s motivating them to put so much thought into diversity. The obvious answer is today’s social and political climate. There’s more to it than that, though. What really spoke to the Oscars and motivated the show to change?
The answer: you.
Social media continues to prove its potential. It has an impact on every part of society – even award shows. This year, we see the direct result of #OscarsSoWhite, as well as the Internet’s ability to dig up forgotten tweets. Social media is more than a forum to argue and share strong opinions. Social media is a serious communication platform that can reach just about anybody – including the Academy.
The precarious social and political climate of today is clearly reflected in both our social media posts and our entertainment. In 2019, the Oscars are almost as controversial as the NFL. This year, the Oscars saw more viewers than 2018 with 29.6 million people tuning in. Even with the increased viewership, the Academy is learning that it’s impossible to please everyone. While the show failed to replace the host, many viewers were happy about its shortened air time. Even though there was a tangible change in the show as viewers’ opinions were taken into account, there will always be something that someone’s upset about. Backlash is inevitable in this environment, making social media a double-edged sword.
Spike Lee didn’t take to social media to share his opinions, and instead spoke right to the camera. He wasn’t shy about his thoughts. He was clearly unhappy that he once again lost the Oscar for Best Picture, like he did in 1990. He didn’t have anything positive to say about Green Book, and pointed out that “every time somebody is driving somebody, I lose.” At such a dignified and celebratory occasion, this seemed out of line.
Despite the social climate and Spike Lee’s outburst, the Oscars did maintain a good sense of ceremony this year. We felt as if we were watching something important as celebrities walked the red carpet. There was a true sense of celebration, which isn’t always maintained at today’s award shows.
Bradley Cooper is a great example of someone who remained collected and professional throughout the night. He was nominated for the Actor in a Leading Role award for A Star Is Born, but he was not nominated as the film’s director. This reminds us of Ben Affleck, and how he failed to land a nomination as a director in 2012. However, Argo still won Best Picture that year, while A Star Is Born left empty-handed. All wasn’t lost for the cast, however, as Lady Gaga took home her first Academy Award for her performance of “Shallow.” Some say Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga got a little too intimate at the award show, but judging by Cooper’s date’s enthusiasm, she didn’t get the same idea as some of the viewers. The way we see it, Cooper and Gaga have a great professional relationship, and their chemistry shows how well they work together as actor and actress…and even singers!
Until next February…