Anti-racism, sexual assault awareness, and Leonardo DiCaprio are the real winners at the Oscars 2016

Probably the most anticipated award show of award season, The Academy Awards, has been facing backlash since January about its alleged racial profiling due to the nomination of only white actors two years in a row. As a result of this, people not only anticipated who would win at the Oscars, but what jokes host Chris Rock would throw into the mix.

The 88th Academy Awards took place Sunday, February 28, 2016, and although it seemed the controversy surrounding racial issues would lead to a shortage in attendance, celebrities near and far gathered in the arena.

Rock opened the show by welcoming everyone to “The White People’s Choice Awards” rather than the Oscars. He dealt with the huge elephant in the room while still managing to lighten the mood, as a good host should.

“It was both fascinating and hilarious to see how [Chris Rock] handled the situation; my abs hurt from how hard I was laughing,” says senior Justin Salvesen.

Although the audience found Rock’s monologue quite perfect for the situation, many viewers at home were outraged and thought some of the things that were said crossed a line.

Racial issues were attacked throughout the show, including a video clip where actresses Kristen Wiig and Whoopi Goldberg comically undermined the racism in today’s pop culture.

The show went on to the actual awards, the first winner being the drama “Spotlight” for Best Original Screenplay. The movie addressed the power of investigative journalism and the impact of sexual assault within the Catholic Church. It also went on to win the last award for Best Picture.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” also had an eventful night, winning a total of six awards for Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Production Design, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

Probably the most memorable part of the night was Leonardo DiCaprio’s win for Best Actor in the film “The Revenant.” Although this was DiCaprio’s sixth Oscar nomination, this was his first win. The audience there and at home all cheered as the deserving actor finally accepted his Oscar.

His acceptance speech was brief, but the actor took the opportunity to speak about climate change, a cause near and dear to his heart. DiCaprio’s mother shared his moment with him and beamed to interviewers after the show.

“I scared my mom and my dog after screaming so loud from Leo’s win…There were so many jokes and memes throughout twitter leading up to that moment about how he never got an Oscar…everyone was rooting for him,” says junior Courtney Frycz.


Soon after DiCaprio’s big win, a performance too powerful for words shook the audience and viewers. Lady Gaga’s performance of her Oscar nominated song “Till It Happens To You” took everyone watching on an emotional roller coaster. The performance was a tribute to victims of rape and sexual assault, and as Gaga sang, real victims joined her onstage, leaving everyone in the room weeping.

The 88th Academy Awards was definitely a night to remember after thrilling wins, chilling performances, and a host who stood as a perfect medium between all the emotions. The night was so impactful, it leaves us all wondering – how will they top this next year?

What was your favorite part of the 2016 Oscars?

#AcademyAwards #oscarssowhite #LeonardoDiCaprio #ChrisRock #GiannaFloria #Oscars

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