On Sunday, the 88th Annual Academy Awards brought laughs, praises and moments that were a little awkward. Some highlights of the night included the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, which was discussed by host Chris Rock, Stacey Dash's awkward appearance, and Leonardo DiCaprio's first Oscar award. ORANGE has compiled a list of the five best and worst moments at the Oscars.
Story by Angela Bonilla
Chris Rock’s Opening Monologue
In Chris Rock’s opening monologue, he talked about the elephant in the room: not a single black person was nominated for an Oscar this year. Rock talked about the lack of roles people of color receive, the whiteness of Hollywood and the Oscar boycott which included Jada Pinkett Smith. Additionally, Rock went to Compton, CA with an Oscar trophy and interviewed a few black residents in the city. He asked them what they thought of #OscarsSoWhite, the nominees and the movies they had seen in 2015.
Lady Gaga’s Performance of “Til It Happens to You”
Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You” had everyone in the audience teary-eyed. The song was nominated for Best Original Song in the documentary “The Hunting Ground” but lost to Sam Smith’s and Jimmy Napes’s “Writings on the Wall” from "Spectre." Gaga performed the song with a piano with victims of sexual assault, including men and women, standing on stage with her. The group of sexual assault victims exposed their forearms to show words and phrases they had boldly written.
Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Win for Best Director
Alejandro G. Iñárritu won Best Director for “The Revenant” and was the second win for the Latino director. Iñárritu won Best Directing in the 2015 Oscars for the film “Birdman” starring Michael Keaton. His speech ended with the acknowledgement of the lack of diversity in Hollywood.
Leonardo DiCaprio Finally Wins an Oscar
Leonardo DiCaprio won the Oscar for Best Actor for his starring role in “The Revenant.” DiCaprio was predicted to win this award, and when he did the Internet went wild, whether it was over Kate and Leo's long-lasting friendship, or the death of a meme. Leo, however, is no stranger to the Oscars since his first nomination was for “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” alongside Johnny Depp in 1993. This win came long overdue and there was a lot of hype surrounding the big win. In his speech, DiCaprio thanked several people including the cast and crew of “The Revenant," his parents and discussed the dangers of climate change to future generations and to indigenous peoples.
The Worst Moments:
Stacy Dash’s Random Appearance
Stacey Dash made an appearance on stage and following the short occurrence was an awkward silence from the audience. Dash wished everyone a happy Black History Month which was a poke at her comments about the month going against American values. Everyone, including viewers at home, was confused.
Best Supporting Actor Dismay
Mark Rylance won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor over the preferred role by Sylvester Stallone in “Creed.” Rylance won for his role in “Bring of Spies” alongside Tom Hanks. Several people were upset because it was predicted that Stallone would win the Oscar for his role as Rocky Balboa, the popular character from the “Rocky” series.
Asians In Hollywood
This moment was when Chris Rock made a joke about Asians being accountants, bringing three Asian kids to the stage. There was hesitation from the audience to laugh and a general feeling of awkwardness since Asians face representation issues in Hollywood as well.
Sasha Baron Cohen’s Character
English actor Sasha Baron Cohen is known for his roles as Borat and Brüno. Cohen presented “The Room” dressed up as one of his many characters, Ali G from “Ali G. Indahouse,” alongside Olivia Wilde. This moment was awkward to say the least, with Olivia Wilde smiling while he was distasteful and offensive on topics such as race.
Thank You List on the Bottom of the Screen
In attempt to shorten the speeches made by the winners, many of the people that they wanted to thank were listed on the bottom of the screens for the viewers at home to read. This, according to Twitter, became a distraction since people wanted to read the names but also listen to the winners speak. This also may have showed that the people listed were not important enough to actually be said by the winner.
The 88th Anual Academy Awards was quite memorable; the issue of race and the lack of representation in Hollywood was a high point of the night, and Leo's Oscar award, Lady Gaga's performance, and Stacy Dash's appearance were a few of the hot topics discussed on social media last night.