Last night at the 90th Annual Academy Awards, the winner of the Best Actress award Frances McDormand used her acceptance speech to swear in the inclusion riders, unclear contract clauses that the actors could put in their contracts requiring Demographics of the cast and crew to meet certain diversity goals. He explained in the backstage that after 35 years in the industry, he had only learned about the inclusion clauses last week, but believes that they could change the rules of the game for an industry that has often been criticized for its lack of diversity. "Change now," he said. "And I think the inclusion rider will have something to do with that."
McDormand's speech was one of the most radical moments in a night full of other milestones, where Jordan Peele became the first black winner in the category of Best Original Script for Get Out, and Rachel Morrison was the first woman nominated to the cinematography. But his comments behind the scenes also highlighted how much the film industry should move forward. As the activist and creator of #OscarsSoWhite April Reign expressed it in his analysis of the Oscar the next morning with CNN, "We have some record nominations this year for the black community, but the fact that we are still talking about the scoops in 2018 it means that there is much more that should also be done in our community. "
Reign also noted that Hollywood's recent triumphs in the black community (Get Out, Black Panther, and A Wrinkle in Time) do not mean that Hollywood is beyond the reach of representation when it comes to actors, directors, Asians and Latin Americans, and writers Although Coco, a Pixar film inspired by Mexican culture, won the Best Animation Film and Best Original Song, a visible victory for the Latinx representation in Hollywood, many Latinx fans are still hungry for a live action movie like Black Panther that places them in the center of the stage. And while Kumail Nanjiani was a presenter and Kazuhiro Tsuji pocketed an Oscar for best makeup and hairstyling, Asian Americans were usually absent from the stage and from the list of nominees. Female representation was also reduced; Only six women took Oscars home this year, the lowest since 2012.
"There is nothing to fear," says Sarah Silverman. "It's just equality."
Nanjiani also starred in a diversity montage starring Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird), Barry Jenkins (Moonlight), Lee Daniels (Empire TV show) and Salma Hayek (The Hitman & Bodyguard). Everyone on the reel had something scathing and heartbreaking to say about diversity. Nanjiani took it with his comment: "Now, white and heterosexual guys can watch movies about guys like me, and you relate, it's not that hard, I've done it all my life." "There's nothing to be afraid of," added the comedian and actress Sarah Silverman. "It's just equality."
And there are other signs of change. In previous years, the predominance of films with mainly white cast inspired a setback, including the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, and in 2016, the Academy responded with reforms that included an impulse to double the number of women and minorities who vote in five years.
Vulture spoke with 14 of these voters, half women and a third person of color, including a director who noted that "When Moonlight won [last year] I felt that the new members of the Academy, including myself, had really made a difference. "Another said:" I was proud that the Academy nominated Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig as the Best Director and that only two of the five directors nominated were white men. "It definitely does not mean that the problem of representation in Hollywood has been solved, but I think that it's a sign that things are at least beginning to move in the right direction. "
But these new voters are often at odds with the old Hollywood guard, who remains predominantly white and masculine. Some older voters at the Academy admitted that they had not even seen Get Out, but they simply knew it was not "an Oscar movie," recalled a new voter to Vulture. The film did not fit the narrow criteria of these voters for the dignity of the Oscar. Another anonymous voter told The Hollywood Reporter that they did not consider going to the Best Film because "they played the race card, and that really turned me off."
At this year's ceremony, Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph jokingly mentioned the backlash against diversity efforts and the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite. "We just wanted to say, do not worry," said Rudolph, "there are many more white people coming tonight."