HOLLYWOOD: The 88th Academy Awards were overshadowed by a row on the lack of black nominees, but Hollywood’s biggest night also witnessed commentary on issues ranging from climate change to gay rights to . . . Girl Scout cookies.
Here are some of the most memorable quotes from the Oscars:
Protecting the world
“Let us not take this planet for granted. I do not take tonight for granted.”—Leonardo DiCaprio, finally winning a long-sought first Oscar, for his lead acting role in The Revenant, on the need to take urgent action against climate change.
Real concerns on race
“You know, when your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”—Oscars host Chris Rock, explaining why fewer fellow African Americans raised concerns about diversity issues in film in the past.
And. . . real concerns on race
“This year, in the In Memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot on their way to the movies.”—Chris Rock again, alluding to major issues faced by African Americans in recent times.
Standing up to campus rape
“We must and we can change the culture, so that no abused woman or man like the survivors you will see tonight ever feel they have to ask themselves, ‘What did I do?’ They did nothing wrong.”—US Vice President Joe Biden, introducing Lady Gaga, who performed with survivors of campus sexual assault.
Darth Vader is black?
“I is here representin’ all them who has been overlooked— Will Smith, Idris Elba and of course, the amazing black bloke from Star Wars, Darth Vader.”—Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen, unleashing some of his characteristically provocative humor as Ali G, his racially ambiguous hip-hop character.
Time to look beyond color
“What a great opportunity to our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice . . . and make sure for once and forever that the color of skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”—Mexico’s Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, winning his second straight best director Oscar for The Revenant.
Gay and proud
“I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day.”—English singer Sam Smith, after winning the Oscar for best original song for the theme to the latest James Bond film, Spectre.