Hollywood’s biggest night is coming up soon. The 90th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will take place on 4 March 2018 and it looks like this one is going to be seriously interesting.
For the first time in its history, an openly transgender actress, Daniela Vega, will be presenting an Oscar on the night.
She stars in the Chilean movie A Fantastic Woman, which is nominated for Best Foreign Film.
But she’s not the only transgender person making history at the awards show.
Yance Ford is the first openly transgender filmmaker nominated for an award. He is nominated in the Documentary Feature category and said "If my making history makes it easier for a trans kid at home somewhere to feel more at home in their skin, then I'm so excited about that," to the Los Angeles Times.
Which is amazing news and a step in the right direction for queer visibility and identity.
In more great news about the Oscars, some of our favourite black Hollywood stars will also be presenting on the night including last year's winner for Best Supporting Actor and Best Picture star, Mahershala Ali; the ultimate queen Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman who is currently on our big screens as T'Challa in Black Panther.
Plus, one of the funniest women in Hollywood right now, Tiffany Haddish, who skyrocketed in 2017, will also be presenting an award and this is after hosting the live nomination announcement telecast.
Plus there’s a good amount of women (and women of colour) on the list of presenters including Emma Stone, Laura Dern, Gina Rodriguez and Zendaya.
This means that the Oscars are really trying to change their tune after the #OscarsSoWhite debacle back in 2016 when most of the nominees, presenters and even Academy members were older white men.
This year however there’s a lot more diversity thanks in part to films like Get Out, Mudbound, The Shape of Water, Lady Bird, and The Big Sick. Get out’s filmmaker, Jordan Peele, earned nominations for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay, which makes him the first black artist nominated for writing, directing, and producing in the same year.
Then there’s Denzel Washington who is nominated for the eight time (or nine if you count his producer role for Fences last year), Octavia Spencer is nominated for a third time for Best Supporting Actress and is up against queen Mary J Blige who is also nominated in the Best Song category for co-writing Mighty River for her film Mudbound.
So finally women, people of colour, and those in the LGBTQIA+ community are getting recognition at the biggest awards show of the year. This doesn’t mean there isn’t more work to do or that now we can sit back and relax and say it’s done, but it does mean there are several steps in the right direction.
Because, at the end of the day, representation really does matter.
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