Historically, Hollywood as a whole has been one to bring up distasteful politics. There has always been one celebrity or two who would turn an acceptance speech into something political or a host who would work in as many political jokes as they could. And the Trump era has been no different, turning speeches from Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey into something viral.
But Sunday night’s Academy Awards were different. They had a different bone to pick. Politics didn’t ever enter into acceptance speeches. What was being discussed were the #MeToo, Time’s Up, and #NeverAgain movements that have to do with sexual misconduct and equal pay and opportunities for women. You could call that political, but it was nothing trashing one side or another; it’s mostly a bipartisan argument.
Jimmy Kimmel stuck to the above movements in his monologue at the beginning. Observing a more than life-size Oscar statuette, he noted Oscar is well-respected because he keeps his hands where you can see them, never says a word, and he has no penis. He’s “literally a statue of limitations.”
The only time the host mentioned Donald Trump was while discussing the film “Get Out.” He explained Jordan Peele was only the third person in ninety years to be nominated for directing, writing, and the best picture Oscar. He then joked that the President tweeted that it was the best three-quarters of a movie he’d seen this year.
There was also one Vice President joke. Discussing the film “Call Me By Your Name,” Kimmel talked about it not making much money and explained they don’t make movies like that to make money; they make them to upset Mike Pence.
Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra, and Salma Hayek also took the stage, and what was symbolic about them as a trio is that they are all alleged victims of Harvey Weinstein’s. They spoke of positivity for the future and introduced a clip of celebrities, male and female, straight and trans, white and people of color, discussing one thing: equality.
But the speech everyone has been talking about is Frances McDormand’s. She won the Best Actress statue, and after setting her statue down got real. She started by announcing, “If I fall over pick me up … because I got some things to say.”
And say she did. After saying her appropriate thank yous, the actress asked all the female nominees in all categories to stand up. She then said, “We all have stories to tell and projects we need to finance.” She noted they were all looking for meetings to talk about it and ended with two parting words: “inclusion rider,” which evidently means everyone has the right to demand equality in not just casting but crew as well on any project.
Sadly, someone thought they’d take advantage of McDormand after this memorable speech. He tried to walk away with her gold statue that she’d left sitting on the table at an awards after-party. Not to worry — the thief was apprehended after he audaciously posed for a press op with the statue.
The important thing by the end of the very long ceremony is that it ended on a note of positivity. Not only after McDormand’s speech, but also after the jetski was given away. Kimmel promised a jetski to the shortest speech-giver, and that went to Mark Bridges who won Best Costume Design.
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