Viola Davis won an Oscar for Supporting Actress in Fences, and thus became the first black woman to win a Tony, Emmy, and Oscar award for acting.
Moonlight star Mahershala Ali has become the first ever Muslim actor to win an Oscar!
And, after a particularly awkward mix-up that even trumps the epic fail for the Miss Universe pageant back in 2015, Moonlight won Best Picture (and Best Adapted Screenplay).
But let’s not focus on the blunder and consider what this means for non-white film-makers.
It’s 2017 and we’re still struggling with racism and racial inequality, and the EU referendum and the Presidential election have not helped with this. There have been people shouting at black and Asian people in the streets, telling them to “go back to your own country”, and it’s disgusting. And Hollywood has not exactly helped to deter this ridiculous idea that white people are supposedly more superior. And I’m not just talking about Oscar, Emmy, and Tony winners. I’m looking at the fact that there are still so many white leads, and the fact that – especially now – the only acting roles that Arab men seem to be able to get are the roles of terrorists, and black men in gangs, like there aren’t any white people who do things like that. It’s insane that non-white people are still portrayed as the bad guys in a lot of films, because by now we just know for a fact that that is certainly not the case.
So I was rooting for Moonlight at the Oscars, which is a beautiful film about a young black man struggling with his sexuality and finding his place in life. The fantastic thing about this film winning Best Picture is the fact that it finally shows a response from Hollywood to the lack of diversity in films in the past. There are so many different stories out there to be told, and finally something is being done to ensure that we as an audience get to hear them.
|Source: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images|
Of course, racial equality still has a long way to go, unfortunately, but this year is already a year to be celebrated for these milestones. Let’s hope that Hollywood and society continue to progress.
Well done to everyone at the Oscars!