+
Most Shared

12 must-see Oscar moments that didn’t center on straight white men.

I’m not crying. You’re crying.

The 90th Academy Awards ceremony was a glamorous, star-studded affair full of white dudes.

However, the winds of change are shifting. Its becoming abundantly clear the Academy, the film industry, and the country will no longer solely look to straight, cisgender, white men to lead the way. And that’s awesome.

Here are 12 standout moments from last nights Academy Awards that give me hope for a brighter, more diverse and inclusive future.


1. Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for his horror masterpiece “Get Out.”

Hes the first black screenwriter to win the award. Yeah, first.

“I want to dedicate this to everyone who let me raise my voice,” he said in his acceptance speech.

2. Before presenting a montage of clips from war films, Cherokee actor and veteran Wes Studi addressed the audience in Cherokee language.

3. The award for Best Original Song went to “Remember Me,” from “Coco,” written by husband and wife duo Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

With this being his second Academy Award win, Robert Lopez, a Filipino-American, is now the first person to ever win at least two Grammys, Emmys, Tonys, and Oscars — or as the kids say, the “Double EGOT.”

The couple accepts their Oscar for Best Original Song.  Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

4. “Coco” also took home the award for Best Animated Feature Film, and the acceptance speech was heartwarming.

Producer Darla K. Anderson thanked her wife and co-director Adrian Molina thanked his husband, which is always awesome to see on national TV.

And co-director Lee Unkrich took a minute to stress the importance of representation in film:

“With ‘Coco’ we tried to take a step forward toward a world where all children can grow up seeing characters in movies that look and talk and live like they do. Marginalized people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.”

Adrian Molina, Lee Unkrich and Darla K. Anderson. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images.

5. James Ivory took home his first Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Call Me By Your Name.”

Ivory is openly gay, and at 89 years old, he’s now the oldest person to win an Oscar. He also wore the film’s star, Timothée Chalamet, on his shirt. Your fave could never.

6. “The Silent Child,” which tells the story of a deaf child who learns to communicate, won for Best Live Action Short Film.

The film’s writer and co-star, Rachel Shenton, promised Maisie Sly, the film’s 6-year-old deaf actress, that she would sign her acceptance speech if they won. Shenton fulfilled the promise, using British Sign Language (albeit slightly nervously) to accept the award.

7. Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o and nominee Kumail Nanjiani — immigrants from Kenya and Pakistan, respectively — showed their support for DREAMers.

“Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers. We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America,” Nyong’o said.

GIF via The Academy Awards.

8. In the performance for their nominated song “Stand Up for Something” from the film “Marshall,” Andra Day and Common invited activists to join them on stage.

Common and Day personally invited each activist to participate in the performance. Guests on-stage included Bana Alabed (author and Syrian refugee), José Andrés (ThinkFoodGroup), Alice Brown Otter (Standing Rock Youth Council), Tarana Burke (Me Too), Patrisse Cullors (Black Lives Matter), Nicole Hockley (Sandy Hook Promise), Dolores Huerta (Dolores Huerta Foundation and the United Farm Workers of America), Janet Mock (#GirlsLikeUs), Cecile Richards (Planned Parenthood Action Fund), and Bryan Stevenson (Equal Justice Initiative).

From left: Cecile Richards, Nicole Hockley, Janet Mock, Tarana Burke, Bryan Stevenson, Common, Jose Andres, Bana Alabed, Andra Day, Patrisse Cullors, Dolores Huerta and Alice Brown Otter attend the Academy Awards. Photo by Matt Sayles/A.M.P.A.S via Getty Images.

9. Guadalajara, Mexico, native Guillermo del Toro took home his first Academy Award for Best Director for “The Shape of Water.”

The film later went on to win Best Picture. And del Toro checked the envelope just to be sure. (Can you blame him after last year?)

10. Daniela Vega, star of Best Foreign Language Film, “A Fantastic Woman,” became the Oscars’ first transgender presenter.

Vega introduced singer/songwriter Sufjan Stevens to the stage to perform his nominated song, “Mystery of Love" from “Call Me By Your Name.”

11. Three of Harvey Weinstein’s accusers, actresses Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra, and Salma Hayek, delivered a moving speech about women reclaiming their time and space in the industry.

12. And I’d be remiss not to mention Frances McDormand, who won Best Actress for her role in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.”

Not only did McDormand have every single woman nominee in the room stand up and be recognized, she also taught all of us a very important phrase — inclusion rider.

Inclusion riders can cover not just the casting but the crew as well, opening up opportunities for marginalized people in all areas of the industry. It’s truly using your privilege and power for good. Brava!

So, yes, the Academy Awards were a glamorous, star-studded affair full of white dudes — but they won’t be for long.

Change is coming quicker and more aggressively than ever before. And it’s about time.

All illustrations are provided by Soosh and used with permission.

I have plenty of space.

This article originally appeared on 04.09.16


It's hard to truly describe the amazing bond between dads and their daughters.

Being a dad is an amazing job no matter the gender of the tiny humans we're raising. But there's something unique about the bond between fathers and daughters.

Most dads know what it's like to struggle with braiding hair, but we also know that bonding time provides immense value to our daughters. In fact, studies have shown that women with actively involved fathers are more confident and more successful in school and business.

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

This blind chef wore a body cam to show how she prepares dazzling dishes.

How do blind people cook? This "Masterchef" winner leans into her senses.

Image pulled from YouTube video.

Christine Ha competes on "Masterchef."

This article originally appeared on 05.26.17


There is one question chef Christine Ha fields more than any other.

But it's got nothing to do with being a "Masterchef" champion, New York Times bestselling author, and acclaimed TV host and cooking instructor.

The question: "How do you cook while blind?"

Keep ReadingShow less
This story first appeared on the author's Medium and is reprinted here with permission.

Because you're a girl.

This article originally appeared on 04.14.17


I was promoted a few weeks ago, which was great. I got a lot of nice notes from friends, family, customers, partners, and random strangers, which was exciting.

But it wasn't long until a note came in saying, “Everyone knows you got the position because you're a girl." In spite of having a great week at a great company with great people whom I love, that still stung, because it's not the first time I've heard it.

Keep ReadingShow less

Gordon Ramsay at play... work.

This article originally appeared on 04.22.15


Gordon Ramsay is not exactly known for being nice.

Or patient.

Or nurturing.

On his competition show "Hell's Kitchen," he belittles cooks who can't keep up. If people come to him with their problems, he berates them. If someone is struggling to get something right in the kitchen, he curses them out.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 01.27.20


From 1940 to 1945, an estimated 1.3 million people were deported to Auschwitz, the largest complex of Nazi concentration camps. More than four out of five of those people—at least 1.1 million people—were murdered there.

On January 27, 1945, Soviet forces liberated the final prisoners from these camps—7,000 people, most of whom were sick or dying. Those of us with a decent public education are familiar with at least a few names of Nazi extermination facilities—Auschwitz, Dachau, Bergen-Belsen—but these are merely a few of the thousands (yes, thousands) of concentration camps, sub camps, and ghettos spread across Europe where Jews and other targets of Hitler's regime were persecuted, tortured, and killed by the millions.

Keep ReadingShow less
Health

What I realized about feminism after my male friend was disgusted by tampons at a party.

"After all these years, my friend has probably forgotten, but I never have."

Photo by Josefin on Unsplash

It’s okay men. You don’t have to be afraid.

This article originally appeared on 08.12.16


Years ago, a friend went to a party, and something bothered him enough to rant to me about it later.

And it bothered me that he was so incensed about it, but I couldn't put my finger on why. It seemed so petty for him to be upset, and even more so for me to be annoyed with him.

Recently, something reminded me of that scenario, and it made more sense. I'll explain.

Keep ReadingShow less