#OscarsSoWhite turned out to be the best thing to happen to the ceremony in years. Not only because it created a dialogue that desperately needs to happen in Hollywood, but it also made for a very entertaining show.
Chris Rock didn’t hold back — from his monologue to the video sketches — the topic of racism in the entertainment industry was addressed head on. For TV viewers expecting a snoozy broadcast, that certainly didn’t happen.
Rock kicked off the night with this saucy quip:
“Jada boycotting [the Oscars]is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”
The boycott didn’t happen and it seems like the only celebrities who did stay away were Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith and Spike Lee.
Back in the press room, the scrolling “Thank You” crawl across the screen was greatly appreciated. Instead of listening to a list of agents, managers and publicists, the acceptances speeches had a bit more heart this year.
Here are six things you didn’t see on TV:
1. Mad Max: Fury Road was a big hit amongst the press. Every time one of the winners walked into the room, they were greeted with a boisterous round of applause. It was clear the media enjoyed the George Miller-helmed film.
2. As hard as the press tried, Alicia Vikander didn’t reveal one thing about boyfriend and Oscar nominee, Michael Fassbender. The media baited and she resisted.
3. The shouts of shock echoed backstage at the Dolby Theatre as the press sat with their mouths agape when Mark Rylance’s name was called instead of Sylvester Stallone. The Creed star was a sentimental favorite and it was a tough loss to swallow for Rocky fans.
4. And then Sam Smith and Jimmy Napes won for Best Original Song and the press room was in a near meltdown. The win was just minutes after Lady Gaga nailed her “Til It Happens To You” single about sexual assault from the documentary, The Hunting Ground. The media was scratching their heads, how did the Bond song win?
5. The loudest cheers of the night went to Leonardo DiCaprio. He finally won his Oscar. It seems that everyone was impatient with the actor being passed over time and time again, including the media.
6. Who was going to win Best Picture? A month ago it was Spotlight, two weeks ago it was The Big Short and this week it was The Revenant. The press room was on edge by the time the winner was announced and I couldn’t even hear myself think. Not surprisingly, a film about journalism was a favorite amongst a room of journalists.
Next up, the BET Awards this summer. Chris Rock invited us all!