This story will not be about the Slap heard around the world. But about how many people of color were a major part of this year’s 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony.
It was the first tie any one of color ever produced the show. Because prominent Hollywood Producer Will Packer was brought on to produce the Oscars this year. Some of his work includes Girls Trip, Night School, and the Think like a Man series of films.
The Queen Bee herself Beyonce, was nominated for best song, performed her song from the movie King Richard called “Be alive”. It tells the story of Richard Williams the patriarch of the Williams tennis Dynasty of Venus and Serena. In the video Beyonce performed the song on the tennis courts of Compton where Venus and Serena played their early games growing up.
Even though Beyonce’ did not take home the Oscar for best song. She lost to singer Billie Elish’s theme from the latest Bond film. However, her performance was one of the happy highlights of the show.
Co-hosting the show were Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall, after going years without a host. Whoopi Goldberg was the first black woman to host the Oscars in 1994 and went on to host it four times.
The idea of using 3 comedic actresses who are fairly young was to bring some youth and excitement to the award show. A tactic that has not always worked, but aside from the one famous incident made the show pretty lively.
Ariana DeBose who is Boriqua (Black. And of Puerto Rican descent), won the award for Best Supporting Actress for the role of Anita in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story an adaptation of the long time Broadway Favorite. DeBose also identifies as Queer making her the first woman LGBTQ identifying woman of color to win an Oscar.
Two honorary Oscars were given out to two titans of the acting world that were not seen on the Oscars telecast that many for too long have complained is too long. Danny Glover was given an award for his political activism, or “Humanitarian Award”, and he was presented with the award by veteran actress Alfre Woodard.
Samuel L Jackson who is long overdue for an Oscar won a Life Time Achievement Award, that was presented by Denzel Washington. Washington and Jackson are both actors that came to prominence doing Spike Lee movies in the 1980’s.
Samuel L Jackson should have a received an Oscar for his ground breaking performance in Pulp Fiction, which is iconic, and one of the most quotable in Hollywood history. If you haven’t seen Pulp Fiction do yourself a favorite and find it on a streaming service.
Finally, an award that was wrapped in controversy because of the winner. Will Smith who probably stepped on his own moment in the sun because of his incident with Chris Rock earlier in the broadcast.
He won the Best Actor award for the film King Richard which was also nominated for Best Picture. Smith did acknowledge the events that occurred earlier in the night. In a tearful speech about being a protector like Richard Williams was for his family. He accepted his trophy to a raucous applaud.
I thought it was important to recognize what else happened and to not get lost in the slapping incident that dominated headlines all day the Monday after the Awards. We at the Narrative Matters hope you appreciate this look at the rest of the show, and how African Americans made their presence known.