One of the ways that Harvey Weinstein was able to wield so much power to exploit and assault women in Hollywood was the status he held within the Academy for winning so many Oscars.
So last year, when multiple women came forward to raise their voices against Weinstein, the Academy took the rare move to expel him (only the second member to be expelled in the 90 year history). And it was largely expected that the Academy would address the Weinstein scandal at the Oscars.
But they did it in an interesting way. Rather than focusing on the trespasses of Weinstein, they had three Weinstein accusers (who reportedly felt that their voices went unheard or damaged their careers) Ashley Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayak Pinault come forward to call for more diversity, inclusion and intersectionality:
“Hi, it’s nice to see you all again, it’s been a while,” Sciorra said before the crowd applauded. “It’s an honor to be here tonight. This year, many spoke their truth and the journey ahead is long, but slowly a new path has emerged.”
“The changes we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices. Joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying time’s up,” Judd said.
Hayek added, “So we salute those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the biased perceptions against their gender, race and ethnicity to tell their stories.”
“And we look forward to make sure that the next 90 years empower these limitless possibilities of equality, diversity, inclusion, intersectionality. That’s what this year has promised us,” Judd continued.
They followed with a video of interviews of nominees like Greta Gerwig, Jordan Peele and Kumail Najiani speaking on the importance of representation and diversity interspersed with clips of some of the powerful scenes of diverse casts.
It really feels like this entire awards show is a sub-tweet to the Trump administration, though he hasn't really been mentioned, with winners using their acceptance speeches to embrace such hot button subjects as embracing multi-culturalism, respect for immigrants and transpeople, and the representation of People of Color as a economic powerhouse. Wakanda lives, people.