By Sophia Boxerman (News Editor).
As the red carpet unrolled at Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre at the 88th Academy Awards on February 28, a wealth of talented producers, actors and actresses, and various others involved in the film industry eagerly anticipated which nominees would be receiving Oscars.
However, not a single nominated thespian was black, sparking a fiery #OscarsSoWhite controversy regarding what host Chris Rock described as the “sorority racist” practices in the Oscars and Hollywood in general in his opening monologue.
Junior Radha Rao says that she appreciated Chris Rock’s joking approach at addressing the lack of racial diversity at the Oscars. “I thought Chris Rock was very entertaining. The fact that the Oscars has been a discriminatory organization in the past should be emphasized, and in an informal setting, he made clear the idea that it should be more inclusive,” she said.
Another junior says that it is “ridiculous” that in this day and age, “the recurring issue of racism in the movie industry still exists.”
“Even putting humor in it didn’t do the issue justice,” she added.
Rock also used humor to address the Oscars’ new policy of asking women about more than what they are wearing. “I think Chris handled the lack of black nominees well, but I didn’t find his jokes about #askhermore funny. I think that he should have stood by women the same as he did for his own community,” senior Brianna Arnold said.
Junior Aidan Arnold says that the juxtaposition of a black host who jokingly deemed the Oscars “White Peoples’ Choice Awards” and the boycott of the awards was “interesting.”
The controversy aside, the Oscars proceeded as all preceding Academy Awards have– with the nomination of a motley variety of movies from the past year and the anticipated selection of the winning film from each category.
Mad Max: Fury Road won 6 out of 12 nominated categories, notably Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design, and Best Makeup. Spotlight, a movie following the investigation of The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, won Best Picture.
Senior Zach Katzen says that Spotlight was deserving of the win. “I thought that the actors chosen for the roles fit their parts very well,” he said.
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar on Sunday for Best Actor in his role as Hugh Glass in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant.
Senior Ryan Crooks and sophomore Bijan Mehregan say that they are happy the DiCaprio was finally given this opportunity.
Senior Brian Chhouk says that he was impressed that DiCaprio chose to spoke about the environment in his speech after winning the Oscar. “It was very selfless of him to talk about something other than himself in a moment of personal glory and achievement,” he said.
Another senior says that although she did not watch the entire award ceremony, “the Oscars is always something that I look forward to every year, and I can’t wait to watch the movies that will accompany the next Oscar season.”