Oscars® 2022: How a Toxic Moment Overshadowed a Historic Night for Women & the Deaf Community by Ann Marie Patitucci
My news feed is filled with talk of the Oscars®, more so than usual. Something is strangely missing, though: discussion of films, filmmakers, actors' performances and other creative work. Everyone is talking about "the slap heard 'round the world," whether they watched the ceremony or not. There's no doubt that it was a memorable moment. Unfortunately, that toxic, violent moment seems to have overshadowed what was special about last night.
- Jane Campion won best director, for The Power of the Dog. She's the first woman to be nominated twice in the category and only the third to win in the 94-year history of the Academy Awards. It was also the first time that the award has gone to a woman director in two consecutive years.
- Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer woman of color to win an acting Oscar for West Side Story.
- Director Sian Heder won for best picture and best adapted screenplay for CODA, the first movie by a streaming service to win best picture.
There were other meaningful moments, such as when Lady Gaga told legend Liza Minelli, "I got you" when the two introduced an award together. Kevin Costner's unexpected speech was also poignant, as he talked about becoming enamored of films as a boy and learning of the power of filmmaking as he grew older: "[Artists] can change a mind, change the trajectory of a life..."
But all of this was overshadowed – a historic night for women and the deaf community was overshadowed. I'm not interested in commenting on the moment everyone's talking about or those involved. I will say this, though: (sadly) we see men lose control and become violent all the time – in their homes, in workplaces, in public, sports arenas, job interviews – but we don't see pioneering moments all the time. It's a shame that the former overshadowed the latter.
If you didn't watch the ceremony and know only of the incident, I highly recommend you watch it; you missed some special moments. The arts have helped a lot of us through the dark days of the pandemic. It was nice to see filmmaking celebrated and artists recognized for their good work.
Photo (main): Jane Campion at The Power of the Dog premiere in Los Angeles on November 11, 2021. (Bigstock)
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