Open Thread: The 2014 Academy Awards

By Arturo R. García

Best Supporting Actress Winner Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years A Slave”)

Well, that was a lot to take in. Some of the highlights:

  • Maybe the night’s sentimental favorite, Lupita Nyong’o, won the Best Supporting Actress award for her work on 12 Years A Slave, which went on to win Best Picture.
  • John Ridley also won Best Adapted Script for his work on 12 Years, though … was it us, or was there some shade going between him and director Steve McQueen?
  • Robert Lopez, a Filipino-American, won Best Original Song along with his wife Kristen Anderson-Lopez for “Let It Go,” from Frozen.
  • Mexican-born Alfonso Cuarón, who some felt was snubbed for the Best Director award after Children of Men, made good Sunday and won for Gravity. 
  • Cis-hetero actor Jared Leto won Best Supporting Actor for playing a trans woman in Dallas Buyers Club, and seemed to omit mentioning the trans community during his far-flung acceptance speech. As Autostraddle notes, it’s not like he can claim ignorance of his actions at this point.

Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments and check out the full storify below, but under the cut, some video, and some more observations from the evening.

First, who are we kidding? Let’s see Nyongo give her acceptance speech again:

Besides a transmisogynistic joke aimed toward Liza Minelli, this was one of our first signs DeGeneres’ material was going to present issues:

Best Director winner Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”).

From Cuarón’s post-show interview:

Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”) and Kristen Bell.

Seeing Michael B. Jordan onstage, I decided to add a note for the sector of fandom that might still have feel-feels about that Fantastic Four casting:

Meanwhile, a heads-up: Mr. Lewis here captured our initial feeling on Ridley’s win for best adaptation:

But, as food for thought, check out this Esquire piece Ridley penned in 2006 [Note: slurs abound]:

I have no qualm about using the word n*gger. It is a word. It is in the English lexicon, and no amount of political correctness, no amputation into “the n-word”–as if by the castration of a few letters we should then be able to conceptualize its meaning without feeling its sting–will remove it from reality.

So I say this: It’s time for ascended blacks to wish n*ggers good luck. Just as whites may be concerned with the good of all citizens but don’t travel their days worrying specifically about the well-being of hillbillies from Appalachia, we need to send n*ggers on their way. We need to start extolling the most virtuous of ourselves. It is time to celebrate the New Black Americans–those who have sealed the Deal, who aren’t beholden to liberal indulgence any more than they are to the disdain of the hard Right. It is time to praise blacks who are merely undeniable in their individuality and exemplary in their levels of achievement.

This, then, is how the praise begins. We need to burn into our collective memory the event that marked the beginning of our new timeline: an event from early in this millennium that seemed, for its moment in time, auspicious but that is now all but forgotten. It was lost in the ash of fires in Over-the-Rhine. Buried in the rubble of 9/11. But I for one will not let it go, won’t let it get dumped into a potter’s field of U. S. politics. It was too important. Far too significant. It was eleven days when two blacks ran America.

Your thoughts?

Meanwhile, this happened:

Host Ellen DeGeneres “Super Selfie.” Image via official Oscars Facebook page.

Considering Twitter crashed just as Nyong’o was about to win her award, though, I still feel it was anticipation for that moment that fueled the crash.

The competition for the Onion Memorial Botch Of The Night Award was surprisingly stiff. Not only did you have John Travolta’s spectacular mangling of Idina Menzel’s name:

But you had The Huffington Post giving the Twitter wheel to comedian Chelsea Handler, who used the Nyong’o win as an opportunity for product placement:

Finally, Rolling Stone was right in thinking 12 Years made history with its Best Picture win … it just missed by a continent.

Kendra reacts to the big win of the night:

 

Meanwhile, our colleague at Race Forward brought it back into perspective:

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at team@racialicious.com.

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