Written by Erin Lobner. Media by Courtney Murphy.
On Sunday, the 88th Academy Awards took place. Hosted by Chris Rock, the show was full of laughs, diversity dialogues, and Girl Scouts. The focus this year was almost split between the Oscar winners and the recent controversy concerning the fact that a majority of nominees over the years were white. In response, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith publicly announced that they were going to boycott the ceremony. Other celebrities who don’t support the issue claim that such actions are racist against white people or state that black actors may not be nominated simply because their acting isn’t as good.
Rock addressed the issue right away in his opening monologue. “I’m here at the Academy Awards,” Rock said. “Otherwise known as the ‘White People’s Choice Awards.’” From that point, certain segments drew attention to the matter through humor, such as Rock’s interview with passersby, movie recreations, or Black History Month Minute.
However, not the whole night revolved around the diversity issue. There were quite a few moments of pure fun and humor. One of the best was when the Minions presented the award for Best Animated Short Film.
Proving they can make anything into an adventure, the creatures battled with the microphone before delivering their short speech, translated by subtitles, of course. But the Minions weren’t the only adorable creatures there. Later in the night C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8 from Star Wars took to the stage. When they saw a large image of an Oscar, C-3PO said “I do not look like him. He happens to look rather like me. How do you think we made it this far?” But while he was admiring it, the other two rolled off stage, forcing him to chase after them frantically.
The ceremony took a unique turn when Rock reappeared with a group not usually spotted at the Oscars: the Girl Scouts. He introduced his daughters and some of their friends, who emerged from the stage and went into the crowd to sell cookies. “I want you to reach into your millionaire pockets, and I want you to buy some of my daughters’ Girl Scout cookies.” Rock prodded the crowd. He then joked with some of the celebrities as hand after hand held up money. At the end of the night, Rock released the total that the girls collected: a whopping $65,243.
But possibly the most awaited moment of the evening was when Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an Oscar for Best Actor for his role in “The Revenant.” He had been nominated multiple times before for his work in movies such as “The Wolf of Wall Street” and “Blood Diamond.” Most moviegoers agreed that he deserved the award long before 2016, and in response to his win, the Internet exploded in celebration. Many of the memes that joked about his close-calls with the award were replaced by articles and pictures of his success.
This year’s Academy Awards were important to watch for many reasons: the diversity debate, the humor, and of course, DiCaprio’s Oscar. If you haven’t seen any of the show, it’s worth watching. But if you’re more curious about the winners, check out the full list here.