The Academy Makes Strides Towards Diversity at 2018 Oscars

The 2018 Oscars proved to be a big evening for “The Shape of Water,” as the Cold War fairy tale from Guillermo del Toro won a total of four Oscars, including the top prize, Best Picture, as well as Best Director for the Mexican auteur.

“I am an immigrant,” stated del Toro in his acceptance speech for Best Director. “And in the last 25 years, I’ve been living in a country all of our own. Part of it is here, part of it is in Europe, part of it is everywhere. Because I think the greatest thing that art does, and that our industry does, is erase the lines in the sand when the world tells us to make them deeper.”

While there were no major surprising in the acting categories — Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell (“Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri”), Gary Oldman (“Darkest Hour”) and Allison Janney (“I, Tonya”) won Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress, respectively – A high point of the evening was McDormand’s acceptance speech, during which she saluted all of her fellow female nominees, inviting them all to stand up.

“The filmmakers, the producers, the directors, the writers, the cinematographers, the composers, the songwriters, the designers, come on,” she called out. “Look around, look around… because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.”

Just two years after the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, there was noticeable diversity among the 2018 nominees and winners. “Get Out” writer and director Jordan Peele won Best Original Screenplay for a humorous and chilling script that took aim at white liberals. After over half a century in the film industry, James Ivory took home his first golden statuette, winning Best Adapted Screenplay for “Call Me by Your Name.” At age 89, Ivory is the oldest Oscar winner to date. In his acceptance speech, he remembered Ismail Merchant, his late life and producing partner. Chilean actress Daniela Vega made history as the first-ever openly transgender Oscar presenter, while her movie, “A Fantastic Woman,” won Best Foreign Language Film

For the second year in a row, Jimmy Kimmel served as the host of the ceremony, and he did his part to ensure that the show wrapped up at a decent hour by offering an incentive to the winner who gave the shortest acceptance speech – A jet ski. The prize went to “The Phantom Threat” costume designer Mark Bridges, who appeared at the end of the telecast wearing a life jacket and riding his new jet ski.

The 90th Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, CA and aired live on ABC.