Common calls for America to stand up, Gal Gadot and Lupita Nyong’o surprise ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ viewers, and more.
The 90th annual Academy Awards were marked by historic nominations – and conversations – that put women and minorities center stage. Here are 15 of the most powerful, show-stealing moments from Hollywood’s biggest night.
1. #MeToo trailblazers Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino showed up to Oscars together. The actresses were two of the earliest to bravely come forward with their stories of being sexually harassed by disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, giving dozens of other women the courage to speak out in Hollywood.
“I certainly don’t take responsibility for it [the movement] – I think I am responsible to the movement,” Judd said on the red carpet. “I’m very thankful that the world was finally ready to hear about the gross abuses of power that women and girls have been experiencing, both in Hollywood and all workspaces since time immemorial. The world can hear, and now we have solutions, and it’s an exciting time to be alive.”
Sorvino added, “It has been an issue since the beginning of time. Women and men and boys and children have been abused sexually forever, and we’re just now taking it out into the light, and we’re going to change it .. It’s a thrilling time being yourself, and being truthful has turned out to be the best thing you can be, even though it was super scary.”
2. Actress Rita Moreno donned a delightful throwback ensemble, wearing the same dress she wore to the Academy Awards in 1962 when she won the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role as Anita in “West Side Story.” The 86-year-old actress, who presented at the 90th Annual Academy Awards ceremony, told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet that the frock was made from a obi sash from the Philippines, and pointed out that her skirt was just one piece of fabric. The strapless black dress fanned out into a whimsical skirt with a gold floral pattern. “I know, you would think it would tarnish,” she told Seacrest. “It’s been hanging in my closet.”
— alex (@sralances) March 4, 2018
3. Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel gave a number of nods to the #MeToo movement during his opening monologue. He called the Oscar statuette the ideal Hollywood man deadpanning that he, “keeps his hands where you can see them. Never says a rude word. And most importantly, no penis at all. He is literally a statute of limitations. And that’s the kind of men we need more of in this town.”
Also read: 8 times Jimmy Kimmel gave a #MeToo nod in his Oscars monologue
4. Kimmel joked that whoever had the shortest acceptance speech would win a jet ski, and Helen Mirren came out on stage to flaunt the coveted water sport prize. He later upped the ante to include a trip to sunny Lake Havasu. The big winner ended up being Mark Bridges, who one Best Costume Design for “Phantom Thread.”
5. Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani honored fellow immigrants before presenting the award for best production design. The duo joked that they have the most mispronounced names in Hollywood. “Actually, I have to come clean. Kumail Nanjiani is my stage name,” the “Big Sick” actor joked. “My actual given Pakistani name is Chris Pine. So, you can imagine how annoyed I was when the other, when the white Chris Pine showed up. The real Chris Pine.”
Nanjiani then paid homage to fellow dreamers: “And like everyone in this room, and everyone watching at home, we are Dreamers. We grew up dreaming of one day working in movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood. And dreams are the foundational of America. And so, to all the dreamers out there, we stand with you.”
Lupita Nyong'o and Kumail Nanjiani deliver powerful message to fellow immigrants: "Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood and dreams are the foundation of America. To all the dreamers out there, we stand with you." https://t.co/vhpo2XuyXt #Oscars pic.twitter.com/raSsk686wZ
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 5, 2018
6. Daniela Vega, the 28-year-old Chilean actress, made history Sunday for becoming the first openly transgender presenter at the Oscars when she introduced artists Sufjan Stevens and St. Vincent who performed “Mystery of Love” from the film “Call Me By Your Name.” Vega, a trained opera singer, began transitioning at 17-years-old.
7. Kimmel interrupted the Oscars and led a group of celebrities including Lupita Nyong’o, Armie Hammer, Gal Gadot, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mark Hamill and Margot Robbie across the street to the TCL Chinese Theatre to surprise the public at a screening of “A Wrinkle in Time” with candy, a hot dog cannon and a 6-foot sub.
ONLY AT THE #OSCARS: @jimmykimmel led a group of movie stars to a nearby theatre, surprised the audience with a hotdog cannon, expressed Hollywood's appreciation for moviegoers, and selected one viewer to introduce the next presenters. https://t.co/lJd891ISOk pic.twitter.com/Vho76WCx1T
— ABC News (@ABC) March 5, 2018
“You know, a lot of people have been thanked tonight. Producers, directors, Mexico got a thanks. And deservedly so. Many of you would not be here without the people you’re thanking,” Kimmel said.
8. Comedians Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish stole the show when they stepped out to present the awards for Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short — after stepping out of their heels. Haddish sported a pair of what looked like Uggs. And that was just the beginning of their side-splitting presentation.
“I know what you’re thinking,” Haddish said, “Are the Oscars too black now? Don’t worry, we were just backstage, and there are still a bunch of white people still to come.”
Haddish went on to fangirl over Meryl Streep.
“Hi Meryl, I want you to be my mama one day,” she quipped.
9. Oscar winner Common and Andra Day performed a powerful rendition of “Stand Up for Something,” a nominee for best original song, from “Marshall.” Common, dressed in all black, began with a moving spoken word performance: “On Oscar night this is the dream we tell / A land where dreamers live and freedom dwells / Immigrants get the benefits / We put up monuments for the feminists / Tell the NRA they ain’t God’s way / And to the people of Parkland we say, ‘Ase’ / Sentiments of love for the people from Africa, Haiti to Puerto Rico.”
And he ended the duet with more meaningful lyrics that got the Oscars audience out of their seats: “We stand up for the Dreamers / We stand up for immigrants / We stand up against gun violence / Everyone in this room whatever you believe in we want you to stand up right now / Everyone at home we want you to stand up / We need you to stand up. Oscars stand up for what you believe in.”
— Channel 9 (@Channel9) March 5, 2018
10. Many of Oscar night’s commercials were also on-message. Twitter released its first ever TV ad, a #HereWeAre spot featuring black-and-white images of women such as directors Ava DuVernay and Julie Dash and writer/actress/director Issa Rae set to an empowering poem by New York poet Denice Frohman. “I heard a woman becomes herself the first time she speaks without permission,” Frohman reads. “Say ‘hero,’ and cast yourself in the lead role… When a woman tells her own story, she lives forever.”
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) March 5, 2018
And Nike’s Serena William spot for International Women’s Day was also a grand slam, with the tennis ace saying, “I’ve never been the ‘right’ kind of woman,’ and confessing she’s always been “oversized” or “too black for my tennis whites.” She ends with, “There’s no wrong way to be a woman.” Preach.
11. Oscar presenter Sandra Bullock noting the “one trailblazing woman” who got nominated for Best Cinematography. The award eventually went to a man.
12. In liberal Hollywood, Native American actor Wes Studi, known for “The Last of the Mohicans” presented a tribute to American military veterans. Studi said that he was proud of have served in the Vietnam War and asked if any of the audience did too. It was a moment appreciated by conservatives on Twitter, who expressed surprise that the military was celebrated at such an event.
13. British actress and Oscar winner Rachel Shenton gave part of her speech Sunday night in sign language, paying homage to her film “The Silent Child.” Shenton said, “I made a promise to our 6-year-old lead actress that I’d sign this speech. And my hands are shaking a little bit, so, I apologize. Thank you.”
14. Emma Stone presented the award for best director and made sure to note the lack of diversity when she called out the “four men and Greta Gerwig” who are nominated in the category. Guillermo del Torro won for “The Shape of Water.”
15. Best Actress winner Frances McDormand (from “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) owned the stage during her acceptance speech, asking the other nominees (starting with Meryl Streep) to stand up, and telling producers to back these women’s projects. “We all have stories to tell and projects we need financed,” she said, calling on everyone to set meetings ASAP to get more female-fronted projects in motion. And she ended her speech with two words – “inclusion rider” – calling on actors to put diversity requirements for cast and crew into their movie deals moving forward.
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