At Academy Awards women, people of color and international themes take home Oscars

Global Business

Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi,Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, (L-R) winners of the Documentary (Feature) award for ‘Free Solo,’ attend the 91st Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball at Hollywood and Highland on February 24, 2019 in Hollywood, California. Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images/AFP

The 91st Academy Awards have come to a close and this year, diversity won. Women, people of color and international themes were recognized across the board with a few unexpected surprises.

CGTN’s May Lee was there and has all the details.

For the first time in 30 years, the Academy Awards had no host so instead, the legendary band “Queen” opened up the show with an electric performance.

This year’s films were eclectic in theme and story form. From the black and white Netflix film “Roma” from Mexico to Marvel’s “Black Panther” to bio-pic “Bohemian Rhapsody” the movies represented much more diversity and color.

Regina King became just one of three black actresses to win an Oscar. She was awarded Best Supporting actress for “If Beale Street Could Talk”.

“God is good all the time”, said King.

Marhershala Ali won Best Supporting Actor for “Green Book” becoming just the second black actor to win two Oscars.

Asian American documentarians Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi took home the Oscar for “Free Solo” about a perilous solo climb of El Capitan.

“Thank you National Geographic for believing in us and for hiring women and people of color because we only help make the films better,” said Vasarhelyi.

Chinese American director-animator Domee Shi won for her animated short “Bao”.

And female documentarians took home the Oscar for “Period, End of Sentence”.

Continuing the diversity theme was Rami Malek who won Best Actor for “Bohemian Rhapsody”.

“I am the son of immigrants from Egypt” said Malek. “I’m a first generation American and part of my story is being written right now.”

Best Actress was given to Olivia Coleman for “The Favourite” beating out seven time Oscar nominee Glenn Close.

Coleman apologized to Close saying, “Glenn Close, you’ve been my idol for so long, and this is not how I wanted it to be and I think you’re amazing and I love you very much.”

The Oscar for Best director, out of a field of all men, went to Alfonso Cuaron for “Roma”, which also won Best Foreign Language Film.

But Roma did not take home Best Picture, which was widely expected. Instead, “Green Book” was the big winner.

“The whole story is about love”, said director Peter Farrelly. “It’s about loving each other despite our differences.”

This year’s Oscars was criticized excluding women in the best director category, but women did prevail in several other categories where they were directors, producers and actors, as did people of color both in front of and behind the camera.

So it looks like progress is being made here in Hollywood step by step on and off the screen.