As was expected and perhaps, dreaded by the Academy, the Oscars got political this year. If last year was about the #MeToo movement, this year the conversation was broader and included debate on diversity and closing the gender pay gap.
Crazy Rich Asians star, Constance Wu arrived on the Oscars red carpet with an ACLU ribbon over her metallic clutch. Dressed in a yellow Versace gown, her soft but strong political statement made waves on social media. The legendary Spike Lee (who won his first Oscar, by the way) wore knuckle rings which read “love” on one hand and “hate” on the other.
— ACLU (@ACLU) February 25, 2019
That’s not all Lee did – he dropped the F-bomb on stage after his win before delivering a politically charged speech. “Don’t turn that motherfucking clock on!” Lee said, addressing the show’s directors, before going on to honour his history and ancestry.
“Before the world tonight, I praise our ancestors who helped build this country. We all connect with our ancestors who have love and wisdom, and who we gain our humanity,” he said.
“The 2020 presidential election is around the corner. Let’s all mobilise, let’s all be on the right side of history. Make the moral choice between love versus hate. Let’s do the right the thing! You Know I had to get that in there,” he added.
Kathy Griffin also posted that she would be taking Amanda Nguyen, “responsible for the Survivors Bill of Rights Act” as her plus-one to the Oscar parties. At the beginning of the hostless ceremony, Maya Rudolph, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler also made a reference to the infamous wall that US President Donald Trump wants to build.
“So just a quick update in case you’re confused. There is no host tonight, there will be no popular movie category — and Mexico is not paying for the wall,” Rudolph said to loud applause from the audience.
Game of Thrones star, Emilia Clarke also voiced her support for Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. “If you ever want to borrow the dragons, ring me,” she said.
Ginsberg was always a sort of cult figure in the States but post her biopic, On the Basis of Sex and during the Trump presidency, support and admiration for her have considerably gone up.
Emilia Clarke offering to loan RBG some dragons is my everything. #oscars2019
— Daniel Summers (@WFKARS) February 25, 2019
Roma and Bohemian Rhapsody winning big at the 91st Academy Awards can also be seen as from a political angle. While Roma speaks about immigrants who help support the US Academy, the Rami Malek starrer is based on Queen frontman Freddie Mercury.
“To anyone trying to discover their voice, listen – we made a film about a gay man and immigrant who lived his life unapologetically himself,” he said, in his acceptance speech, adding: “The fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this.”
(Header credits: Spike Lee on Instagram)