The Oscars + Flint

[Content Note: Racism; sexual violence; water contamination.]

image of Margaret Sixel holding her Oscar onstage at the ceremony
Margaret Sixel accepts her Oscar for Best Film Editing for Mad Max: Fury Road.

Last night was the 88th Academy Awards. I didn't watch, although I checked in on Twitter occasionally to see what was happening and do a very little bit of tweeting.

The New York Times has the complete list of winners.

There were decidedly mixed reactions to how the Oscars addressed its lack of diversity. Possibly the most telling commentary on the Academy's sincerity was Mexican director Alejandro G. Iñárritu, who won Best Director for The Revenant, getting played offstage for speaking too long while talking about diversity in his acceptance speech. Perfect.

Vice-President Joe Biden showed up to give a speech about sexual assault, followed by a powerful performance by Lady Gaga, during which survivors joined her onstage with words like "survivor" and "not your fault" scrawled on their forearms. Those women and men are incredible, and I take up space in solidarity with them.

I will say, however, that I bristled at the hypocrisy of the Academy pretending to give a single fuck about survivors when their industry is one of the most aggressive purveyors of rape culture. And when, on the same stage that night, they invited a man, Louis CK, who has been repeatedly accused of sexual assault, to be a presenter.


Congratulations to Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, winner of Best Short Documentary for A Girl in the River, as well as the women and men who won various Oscars for Fury Road: Margaret Sixel for Best Film Editing; Colin Gibson and Lisa Thompson for Production Design; Jenny Beavan for Costume Design; Lesley Vanderwalt, Elka Wardega, and Damian Martin for Make-Up; Mark Mangini and David White for Sound Editing; and Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, and Ben Osmo for Sound Mixing. I was happy to see those winners.

Leo finally won. I'm really glad that a super privileged white man got the recognition he deserved at long last. What a magical night.

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Also last night: Blackout for Human Rights organized an Oscar-night benefit in Flint, Michigan, for its residents. Jamil Smith has done a great write-up of the event for MTV: "Why Flint Was the Place to Be on Oscar Night." If you would like to make a donation to #JusticeForFlint, you can text JUSTICE to 83224.

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