The Academy Awards did not disappoint in its delivery of powerful moments this year. An influx of speeches, songs and statements paid tribute to the current climate of change and in an especially moving video, Hollywood icons including a number of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged victims discussed the impact of #MeToo, #TimesUp and the greater push for cultural inclusivity.
Below are the ten most powerful moments and quotes:
1) Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino– two women who broke the lid on the Harvey Weinstein allegations–arrive on the red carpet together and give a powerful co-statement about the #MeToo movement and its resounding impact. “This movement isn’t stopping, we’re going forward until we have an equitable and safe world for women,” Judd said.
Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino discuss the #TimesUp movement on the #Oscars Red Carpet: “This movement isn’t stopping, we’re going forward until we have an equitable and safe world for women.” https://t.co/IfuElO70hEpic.twitter.com/ghKVyBUFxr
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 5, 2018
2) Host, Jimmy Kimmel highlights all the ways “ceilings have been shattered,” mentioning and celebrating the first female cinematographer nominee Rachel Morrison, Get Out director Jordan Peele, Lady Bird director Greta Gerwig and the mammoth success of Black Panther.
3) Director of ‘Coco’, Lee Unkrich made a powerful political statement to rapturous applause during his acceptance of the award for best animated feature film. “The biggest thank you of all to the people of Mexico,” he said. “Coco would not exist without your endlessly beautiful culture and traditions. 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. Marginalised people deserve to feel like they belong. Representation matters.”
4) Ashley Judd, Salma Hayek and Annabella Sciorra, three Weinstein accusers and #MeToo trailblazers introduce a video promoting inclusivity, diversity and equality. “The changes we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices of our voices, finally saying time’s up,” Judd said. “We salute those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the biased perceptions against their gender, their race and ethnicity to tell their stories,” said a visibly shaken Salma Hayek.
5) The subsequent #TimesUp tribute video, championed change and emphasised the benefits of diversity. Mira Sorvino, planted a stake in the ground saying that the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements had given everyone “a voice to express something which has been happening forever. Not only in Hollywood but in every walk of life.” “It’s this possibility of the status quo not having to be the status quo any longer,” she later said.
Our favourite quote came from Pakistani actor Kumail Nanjiani, producer of The Big Sick. “Some of my favourite movies are movies by straight, white dudes, about straight white dudes. Now, straight, white dudes can watch movies starring me and you relate to that. It’s not that hard, I’ve done it my whole life,” he said.
6) Jordan Peele became the first black person to win the award for ‘Best original Screenplay. His film, Get Out centres on the story of a young, African-American man who meets his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Their unwelcome reception ultimately reaches boiling point.
7) Keala Settle belts out an anthem of empowerment and self-acceptance ‘This is Me’ achieving a standing ovation.
I AM BRAVE
I AM BRUISED
I AM WHO I’M MEANT TO BE
THIS IS ME!#Oscars
What a masterpiece! pic.twitter.com/ekzL4gL7zf
— The Dallases (@ginnyftjosh) March 5, 2018
8) Frances McDormand’s acceptance speech for Best Actress wrapped the night up perfectly. Placing her award on the ground as if to imply that more important matters were at stake, she then asked all the female nominees across every category to stand with her. “Meryl if you do it, everybody else will, come on,” she joked. She then asked everybody to look around, to acknowledge the talent before them and to recognise the projects that need financing. She ended her speech, asking for the audience to consider two words: “Inclusion rider”–a clause in film contracts which ensures gender and racial balance on movie sets.
Imagine the possibilities, if a few prominent actors exercised their power contractually on behalf of women and girls.
Frances McDormand talks inclusion riders backstage: “You can ask for or demand at least 50% diversity in not only the casting and the crew. The fact that I just learned that after 35 years in the film business – we aren’t going back” https://t.co/RT95sjLQG5 #Oscars
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 5, 2018