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Are the Oscars Diverse?

By Poppy Bond
Student Opinion Piece - Poppy Bond provides an insight into the diversity of The Oscars.

From 1929, the Oscars have risen in recognition and have become an inspiration for many upcoming, young and old stars. However, the phrase “with great power comes great responsibility” becomes relevant as the Oscars have fallen victim to extensive online backlash. In 2016, the peak of retaliation arose following the failure of any black or underrepresented actors being nominated for the second consecutive year which fueled the #OscarsSoWhite movement and led to many high-profile celebrities boycotting the event.

Following on, it should be pointed out that the #OscarsSoWhite movement was still relevant in 2020. The Academy avoided an official relapse of the movement by nominating just one person of colour this year: Cynthia Erivo for her role of Harriet Tubman in Harriet. Not only were people of minoritised ethnicities overlooked in major categories, the best director category was composed of five men. Despite the fact that Bong Joon-Ho (a Korean director) won, the nominations allowed female directors such as Greta Gerwig (Little Women) to go unnoticed and therefore unrewarded by the Academy.

Could 2022 be the year the Oscars adapt to a modern world and become more inclusive?

Records broken in the Oscars 2022 - Are ‘The Academy’ taking a step in the right direction?

Firstly, Troy Kotsure became the first Deaf male to win an Oscar when he was named the best supporting actor for his role of Frank Rossi in CODA. He is the second deaf person to win an Oscar, the first being Marlee Matlin who won best actress for Children Of A Lesser God 35 years ago.

Secondly, Jane Campion became the third female to win best director for her help in the film The Power of the Dog. Her win also marks the first time two female directors have won back to back after Chloe Zhao claimed the honour for her help on the set of Nomadland. (The first woman to be awarded best director was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010 for The Hurt Locker.)

Lastly, Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer woman of colour to win an Oscar in an acting category. The Afro-Latina Actress was awarded the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story.

In conclusion, it seems clear that The Academy has been making strides towards becoming more inclusive on and off screen. It is hoped that 2023 will offer a larger range of reasons to celebrate the Oscar. Is a rise in ratings, viewer support and complimentary headlines on the horizon?

It is important to note the winners of the awards this year:

Best Picture - CODA

Best Actor - Will Smith for King Richard

Best Actress - Jessica Chastain for The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Supporting Actor - Troy Kotsur for CODA

Best Supporting Actress - Ariana DeBose for West Side Story

Best Director - Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog

Best Adapted Screenplay - CODA

Best Original Screenplay - Belfast

Best Animated Feature - Encanto

Best Documentary - Summer of Soul

Best International Feature - Drive My Car

Best Cinematography - Dune

Best Costume Design - Cruella

Best Film Editing - Dune

Best Makeup & Hairstyling - The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Original Score - Dune

Best Original Song - No Time to Die

Best Production Design - Dune

Best Sound - Dune

Best Visual Effects - Dune

Best Documentary Short - The Queens of Basketball

Best Animated Short - The Windshield Wiper

Best Live Action Short - The Long Goodbye



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