This year’s Oscars was more entertaining by a mile than that of year’s past simply by adding more diversity. A 16 year old superstar belted the hell out of a song from Moana, John Legend nailed a medley from LaLa Land, Viola Davis and Mahershala Ali won much deserved awards so those of us watching at home didn’t groan when the usual suspects leapt onto stage to accept their usual awards. And Moonlight, a film about a vulnerable young black man exploring his sexuality beat out the rumored favorite to take Best Picture albeit with drama and some confusion.
We’ve never asked for tokenism, just to play on equal footing. Because when given that chance, when the competition is between equals and cronyism isn’t at play the outcome is always more fun and unexpected. Most of us watching hoped for Moonlight to take the gold, but in our hearts we assumed that we would be disappointed by a LaLa win. We’d been so conditioned to think that even when the black film is superior in every way that the white film would get the nod. Not so tonight. So the win for Moonlight meant everything. It gave us hope that things are changing.
What this award show revealed was that for those of us starved for recognition, a little goes a long way. Now if we can just start to open it up to Latinos and Asians, we’ll make some real headway.