The 88th Academy Awards embraced the #OscarsSoWhite controversy head on, from host Chris Rock‘s opening monologue to a humorous montage of black actors appearing in several Oscar-nominated films, to Rock’s return from a commercial break: “Ah, we’re black.” Strolling on stage in a white dinner jacket and bow tie, Rock welcomed the audience to a show “otherwise known as the white People’s Choice awards,” adding, “You realize if they nominated hosts, I wouldn’t even get this job.”
Oh…the awards….In an upset victory, newspaper drama Spotlight won best picture at the 88th Academy Awards over heavily favored survival epic The Revenant. The drama about the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal also nabbed a statue for its screenplay, while Mad Max: Fury Road picked up a leading six Oscars exclusively in technical categories.
“This film gave a voice to survivors, and this Oscar amplifies that voice, which we hope will become a choir that will resonate all the way to the Vatican,” said producer Michael Sugar. “Pope Francis, it’s time to protect the children and restore the faith.” Producer Blye Pagon Faust thanked the real-life reporters, and journalists at large: “Not only do they affect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism.”
Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Oscar for his portrayal as Hugh Glass in The Revenant on Sunday night, and he delivered a powerful message about climate change while accepting his award. “Making The Revenant was about man’s relationship to the natural world, the world that we collectively felt in 2015 as the hottest year in reported history—our production needed to move to the southern tip of this planet just to be able to find snow,” he said of filming The Revenant in Argentina.