Hollywood doesn’t get much more Hollywood than the Oscars. But does the infamous Awards ceremony have a place for all?
No one can deny the big stories…
Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian actress to win the award for Best Actress at the age of 60 confirming “Ladies, never let anyone tell you you are past your prime” – Amen to that!
And Ke Huy Quan won the Best Supporting Actor award, which was first one by an Asian actor in 1984 by Haing S. Ngor.
The first Oscars ceremony took place in 1929 – so the Asian community has been waiting for a Best Actress win for 94 years…why did it take so long to happen? This is a bigger discussion of course – one concerning societal values, opportunity and systemic racism. Take Anna May Wong for example. An Asian actress in the early 20th century whose major talent was consistently held back by stereotypical role offers and vast underpayment compared to her white contemporaries. Yeoh’s win, and associated recognition is a very long time coming – for the industry and the bigger inclusion conversation.
Elsewhere on Oscars night “the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences demonstrated its growing commitment to embracing inclusion and accessibility for all” according to Variety magazine. They continued “for the second time, a free ASL livestream was available on the Academy’s YouTube channel. On the red carpet, a team of ASL interpreters helped participants more effectively engage with fans and viewers at home, with members of the media receiving guidelines on how to make their pre-show coverage more accessible. Meanwhile, stage accessibility included not only ramp access but a stage wheelchair lift for the first time as well”.
Oscars 2022 saw another first with Troy Kotsur, a deaf actor winning the Best Supporting Actor award for the first time.
All of the above seem like necessary developments – but really should’ve been an option/in place many years ago. Events like the Oscars, with such a huge, global presence need to be at the forefront of progression and inclusion. If they are – they can work as examples, where others will hopefully follow. So yes – things are (slowly) moving in the right direction…and we can only hope Oscars 2024 does the same and more!
Matthew Paluch, Executive Assistant Legal &