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“Parasite” Makes Oscar History, Winning Top Honors, Despite Overall Lack of Diversity

HeadlineFeb 10, 2020

South Korean film “Parasite” has become the first non-English-language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film has been widely praised for taking a critical look at capitalism. “Parasite” director Bong Joon-ho also made history as the first Korean director to win an Oscar. New Zealand filmmaker Taika Waititi became the first indigenous director — and first Maori director — to win an Oscar for the film “Jojo Rabbit.” Hosts and artists called out the lack of diversity in the year’s nominations. This is Steve Martin and Chris Rock delivering the opening monologue.

Chris Rock: “So many great directors nominated this year.”

Steve Martin: “I don’t know, Chris. I thought there was something missing from the list this year.”

Chris Rock: “Vaginas?”

Steve Martin: “Yeah, yeah.”

Chris Rock: “Yeah. Cynthia Erivo is here tonight. Cynthia did such a great job in 'Harriet' hiding black people that the Academy got her to hide all the black nominees. Is Eddie Murphy under the stage?”

Steve Martin: “Eddie, I loved you in 'Dolemite'! Well, you know, think, Chris. Sorry, think how much the Oscars have changed in the past 92 years.”

Chris Rock: “Yeah, they changed a lot, Steve.”

Steve Martin: “Yeah, they have. You know, back in 1929, there were no black acting nominees.”

Chris Rock: “No. And now, in 2020, we got one.”

Singer and actor Janelle Monáe took to the stage as the opening music act of the night.

Janelle Monáe: “It’s time to come alive, because the Oscars is so white. It’s time to come alive.”

Meanwhile, actor Natalie Portman wore a cape on the red carpet with the names of snubbed female directors embroidered on it. The Academy remains 68% male and 84% white.

Other winners of the night include former NFL wide receiver African-American filmmaker Matthew Cherry for the animated short “Hair Love,” which celebrates natural hair. Cherry dedicated the award to Kobe Bryant. “American Factory” took home best documentary.

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