Diversity reigns supreme at Oscars, controversies run amuck

The Academy Awards like every other process of awarding or bestowing titles and honors have remained marred with controversies and the 2021 Oscars have not been an exception although this time around the show is being celebrated as the most diverse with respect to the nominees since the award’s inception.

Ever since the #OscarsSoWhite social media campaign that began in 2015, the Academy has sought to shake the show’s reputation as a mostly white male-dominated event. Still, Hollywood has a long way to go in achieving diversity amongst its ranks.

“Nomadland,” a movie about a 60-year-old American woman wandering the West, won the award for Best Picture.

  • Chloé Zhao, who directed the film, made history as the first woman of color and the first Chinese American woman and first Asian American woman to win an Oscar for Best Director. She’s the second woman ever to win the award.
  • Yuh-Jung Youn became the first-ever Korean actor to win an acting Academy Award for her performance in “Minari.”
  • Ann Roth won the award for Best Costume Design, making her the oldest woman to win an Oscar at age 89.
  • Daniel Kaluuya, a Black British actor, won the award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in “Judas and the Black Messiah,” a historical drama about the chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party.
  • “Judas and the Black Messiah,” also took home the award for Best Original Song.
  • “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a drama about a 1920s blues singer, starring Viola Davis and the late Chadwick Boseman, picked up two awards, including the award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling, which went to Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson — the first Black winners in the category.
  • Disney’s “Soul,” which is Pixar’s first film to feature an African-American lead, took home the awards for Best Animated Feature Film and Best Original Score.

Oscars viewers are praising Riz Ahmed and his wife Fatima Farheen Mirza as “relationship goals” after the actor took a moment to fix the novelist’s hair on the red carpet.

On Sunday, as the couple was walking the red carpet of the 2021 Oscars, the Best Actor nominee, who is nominated for his role in Sound of Metal, paused to make sure his wife looked perfect.

“One second,” Ahmed told photographers as he turned towards Mirza and began to smooth her hair behind her shoulders as she smiled up at him. “I’m the official groomer for the evening.”

The 93rd Academy Awards concluded with one of the show’s most shocking endings of all time after producers surprisingly gave out the award for Best Actor, not Best Picture, last. Seemingly, the hope was to end with Chadwick Boseman posthumously winning that trophy. But instead, Boseman lost to Anthony Hopkins in a major upset, and Hopkins wasn’t even there to deliver a speech. This made for a bizarrely anticlimactic conclusion, and the decision to reshuffle the awards based on the assumption that Boseman would win drew criticism.

OscarsRiz Ahmed