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Ariana DeBose Becomes First Openly Queer Woman of Color to Win an Oscar for Acting

HeadlineMar 28, 2022

Several Hollywood stars broke barriers at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony Sunday evening. Ariana DeBose won an Oscar for best supporting actress for her role in “West Side Story.” She becomes the first openly queer woman of color to win an Oscar.

Ariana DeBose: “You see a queer — openly queer — woman of color, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate. Yeah, yeah. So, to anybody who has ever questioned your identity — ever, ever, ever — or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us.”

Actor Troy Kotsur also made history as the first deaf man to win an Oscar in an acting category for his supporting role in the film ”CODA.” Danny Glover received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for his decades of activism fighting against war and for social, economic and racial justice.

And in a shocking moment, actor Will Smith rushed the stage and slapped Oscars presenter Chris Rock in the face, after Rock joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, being bald. It’s not clear whether Rock knew Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia. After the slap, Will Smith returned to his seat and shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.” Rock said he will not press charges against Smith. Later in the evening Will Smith won a best actor award for his performance in “King Richard.”

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