Diversity was one of the biggest winners at the Oscars on Sunday, with three out of the four top acting awards won by non-white actors as Regina King, Mahershala Ali and Rami Malek triumphed for their roles in If Beale Street Could Talk, Green Book and Bohemian Rhapsody, respectively. In 2015, not a single non-white actor was nominated in the acting categories.
Meanwhile, production designer Hannah Beachler and costume designer Ruth Carter became only the second and third African American women to win non-acting Oscars for their work on Black Panther. Both were also the first black winners ever in their categories.
In a night of many firsts, Peter Ramsey became the first black person to win the award for best animated feature along with his co-directors Bob Persichetti and Rodney Rothman and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.
Mahershala Ali, a best supporting actor winner two years for Moonlight, became only the second black actor to win two Oscars — following Denzel Washington, who won for Glory and Training Day. And of course, Spike Lee took home his first competitive Oscar for BlacKkKlansman.
Black Panther, the first superhero movie to get a Best Picture Oscar nomination, took home three awards in total and Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón scored the best directing and cinematography awards for Roma, which also took home the Foreign Language Film prize. Remarkably, Cuarón’s win for best director marks the fifth time a Mexican director has won that award in the past six years.
Meanwhile, a record 15 women won Oscars on the night, beating the previous record of 12 in both 2014 and 2016. Free Solo‘s Documentary Feature winners included Elizabeth Chai and Shannon Dill, while Kate Biscoe and Patricia Dehaney were among the winning team for Make-Up and Hairstyling, and Nina Hartstone was a co-winner in Sound Editing.
Lady Gaga jointly won for best Original Song, while Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb won for Animated Short. Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton scored in the Documentary Short category.
There is plenty more to be done in this area — main non-acting categories are still overwhelmingly white and male — but after widespread criticism for a lack of diversity in recent editions, this year’s show marked a high-water mark for inclusiveness.
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