Alejandro González Iñárritu makes push for equality
Alejandro G. Iñárritu made history on Sunday night at the Oscars, winning his second consecutive best director award for The Revenant. He closed his speech with a push for equality, saying he is “very lucky to be here tonight, but unfortunately, many others haven’t had the same luck.”
“There is a line in the film that [Glass says] to his mixed-race son, ‘They don’t listen to you, they just see the color of your skin,’” he continued. “So what a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and, you know, this tribal thinking, and make sure for once and forever that the colour of the skin become as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs
With this year’s Oscars tackling Hollywood’s lack of diversity head on, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, took the stage to state how important diversity is in Hollywood. With this year’s ceremony as a jumping off point, she called on everyone in the industry to take steps to make way for more inclusive filmmaking going forward.
“Our audiences are global and rich in diversity,” she said, “and every facet of our industry should be as well.” Boone Isaacs’ speech comes as only the latest from the Academy after it faced heavy criticism for the overwhelmingly whitewashed nominee field. After the nominees were announced last month, she came forward saying she was “heartbroken and frustrated” by the lack of people of color at the awards.
Boone Isaacs seems aware that it’s not enough that the Academy change its practices internally, saying “Inclusion makes us all stronger.” The entire industry must respond to the criticism by encouraging writers, actors, producers, and directors from all backgrounds to join their ranks. Industry titans like Ryan Murphy have already taken steps to achieve that, but it will likely take the rest of Hollywood some time to get with the program.
“It’s not enough to just listen and agree,” she said. “We must take action.”
DiCaprio advocates for climate action
DiCaprio used his high-profile Best Actor Oscar accepting moment to draw attention to climate change, calling it “the most urgent threat facing our entire species.” But the way he went about it had even some of the most ardent advocates for climate action cringing.
The 41-year-old actor again highlighted his experience of a sudden change in temperature and loss of snow while filming The Revenant in southern Alberta as evidence of a warming globe.
“Our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow,” DiCaprio said during his acceptance speech. “Climate change is real. It is happening right now,” he said. “It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating. We need to support leaders around the world who do not speak for the big polluters or the big corporations, but who speak for all of humanity, for the indigenous people of the world, for the billions and billions of underprivileged people who will be most affected by this, for our children’s children, and for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”