The North Star

The 88th Academy Awards: A Social Commentary

John Jara, Editor

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Despite a few questionable presenters (seriously, how demeaning would it be to have your life’s work awarded by unintelligible “minions”) and other weird c.g. moments during the ceremony, the Oscars proved yet again to be a fantastic compilation of deserving winners and captivating performances.

However, the most talked about and controversial parts of the presentation were not actually about the winners, but rather about the significant social commentaries regarding diverse representation in the awards categories (that came as a result of no black actors being nominated in any category for the second year in a row) and other instances of social inequality. From Joe Biden’s speech about the culture of sexual abuse on college campuses in America to Chris Rock’s controversial opening monologue –  Here are a few of the most memorable moments of the night:


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  • Sam Smith’s dedication of his Oscar win for his song Writing’s on the Wall in Spectre, to the “lgbt community around the world,” claiming that he hopes “we can all stand here together as equals one day.”

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  • Chris Rock’s opening monologue regarding lack of diverse representation in the awards categories. A few of his most controversial quotes are as follows:

”Thing, you know, this year, the Oscars, things are gonna be a little different. Things are going to be a little different at the Oscars. This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot by the cops on their way to the movies.”

”If you want black people every year at the Oscars, just have black categories like Best Black Friend.”

”That’s right. Is Hollywood racist? You’re damn right Hollywood is racist. But it ain’t that racist that you’ve grown accustomed to. Hollywood is sorority racist.”


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  • Joe Biden’s recognition of sexual assault occurring in college campuses across America and introduction of a website asking people to take a pledge to prevent sexual assault:

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  • Lady Gaga’s performance of Til It Happens To You, featuring real victims of sexual abuse.
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The 88th Academy Awards: A Social Commentary