How This Year's Oscars Put the Spotlight on Diversity

Regina King hosted the 93rd Annual Academy Awards

With the Globe Globes virtual this year and the Grammy’s semi-maskless, Oscars host Regina King said rigorous protocols were being followed for the "maskless" event.

It was a memorable night at Oscars 2021, an evening that highlighted diversity and social consciousness above all else.

Host Regina King, director of “One Night in Miami," kicked off the 93rd annual Academy Awards. King opened the show by grabbing a statue from outside of Los Angeles’ Union Station as she strutted down a runway in a museum-worthy Louis Vuitton gown that had 62,000 sequins, 3,900 pale sparkling stones, 4,500 in darker tones and 80 meters of chain stitching that took more than 140 hours to create, according to Vogue.

“It has been quite a year," King said as she touched on the challenges the country has faced. "We are mourning the loss of so many.“

She added, "I have to be honest, if things had gone differently this past week in Minneapolis I would have traded in my heels for marching boots,” said King, referring to the guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd. 

With the Globe Globes virtual this year and the Grammy’s semi-maskless, King explained the safe way Oscars 2021 was being done. “We’re doing it maskless,” said King. "Think of it as a movie set, with a cast of over 200 nominees. We are following rigorous protocols that got us back to work safely.” 

Zendaya, sitting near director Aaron Sorkin and his date Paulina Porizkova, was the only attendee who appeared to have kept her mask on throughout the night, Yahoo! Entertainment reported.

“Nomadland” won for Best Picture and Chloe Zhao won for Best Director. Zhao made history by becoming the first woman of color and first Chinese woman to win the title. 

“This is for anyone who has the faith and courage to hold onto the goodness in themselves and to hold onto the goodness in each other no matter how difficult it may be to do that,” said Zhao during her speech. ”This is for you. You inspire me to keep on going.” 

The milestone win, however, did not making such waves in Zhao's native China. Official media did not recognize the accomplishment, and search engines and media censors made it as if her win did not happen at all, the Wall Street Journal reported 

Frances McDormand won her third Best Actress award for “Nomadland," and Sir Anthony Hopkins won for Best Actor in “The Father.”

McDormand, an actress and producer, broke out into a short howl, "We give this film to our wolf," she said as a tribute to "Nomadlound" sound mixer Michael Wolf Snyder, who died in March", according to The Holllywood Reporter.

Meanwhile, Hopkins spoke virtually on camera from his native Wales. Casually dressed, he appeared surprised and spoke candidly as he paid tribute to Boseman, expressing that he “was taken from us far too early.

“At 83 years of age, I did not except to get this award,” Hopkins said. “I really didn’t and I’m really grateful to the Academy. Thank you.” 

However, many publications had wrongly predicted the late Chadwick Boseman would win Best Actor, the New York Post reported.

Daniel Kaluuya took home Best Supporting Actor for “Judas and the Black Messiah.” 

“There is so much work to do, guys. That is on everyone in this room. This is no single man’s job. I look at every single one of you you have work to do. You understand,” Kaluuya said. 

Kaluuya also thanked his parents for having sex and conceiving him, which drew laughs and made his mother, who was in the audience, lower her head as she smiled.

Youn Yuh-jung won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in “Minari.” She is the first Korean actress to win an Oscar and was stunned by the win. "This I cannot believe,” she said before thanking Brad Pitt, the director of the film, who she met for the first time at the Oscars, NBC News reported.

“Mr. Pitt, finally nice to meet you. Where were you while we were filming in Arkansas?” she asked. “It is an honor to meet you.”

"Hillbilly Elegy,” actress Glenn Close, 74, an eight-time Oscar nominee, may have not brought home an Oscar but clearly stole the spotlight when she busted out some moves to the 1988 song, "Da Butt" by E.U., from the School Daze soundtrack that brought down the house, according to The Hollywood Reporter. 

Additional winners of the night included Danish film “Another Round,” for Best International Feature Film by Thomas Vinterberg. Vinterberg honored his daughter, who died shortly before he made the film, during his speech.

The Best Documentary Feature was “My Octopus Teacher," the Best Animated Feature Film was “Soul" and the Best Animated Short Film was, “If Anything Happens I Love You.”

Additionally, the Best Adapted Screenplay was “The Father," the Best Original Screenplay was “Promising Young Woman, and the Best Live Action Short Film was “Two Distant Strangers.” 

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