The 95th Academy Awards presents an overdue breakthrough in diversity


Adalie Landa

 The nominees await their well-deserved recognition at the 95th Academy Awards.

Adalie Landa, Editor

LOS ALAMITOS, CA– With the 95th Academy Awards ceremony coming up on Sunday, Mar. 12,  nominees were announced on Monday, Jan. 23. The plentiful feedback received suggests promising results of the ceremony.

Also known as the Oscars, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. the ceremony will be hosted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles Sunday Mar. 12.

Unfortunately, the Oscars are notoriously known to have a lack of diversity in their winners. From years 2015 to 2020, the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite was trending due to the high percentage of winners identified as white men.

Then the Oscars turned a new page, having awarded a woman for Best Director and numerous women and POC in other categories back in the 93rd Academy Awards of 2021

 The 94th Academy Awards of 2022 also validated marginalized groups in their awards. Through the first woman to play basketball in the winning documentary “The Queen of Basketball,” Ariana De Bose in her supporting role in “West Side Story,” and representation of ASL in the Best Picture, Supporting Roles, and more in “CODA,” the deserved recognition of talent has pleased many. 

For this year, in the 95th Academy Awards of 2023, the A24 film “Everything Everywhere All At Once” has been nominated for the most awards, reaching up to 11 nominations. The film that highlights the struggles of an immigrant growing accustomed to the American system while also trying to repair a marriage and a mother-daughter relationship barely surfaces the complexities of this film. 

Well-known actress Michelle Yeoh was nominated for Best Actress for her character Evelyn Wang. Ke Huy Quan and Stephanie Hsu were nominated for Supporting Role for their characters Waymond Wang and Joy Wang. Having been recently awarded in the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, both Ke Huy Quan and Michelle Yeoh express their gratitude for this recognition.

“Thank you for giving me a seat at the table because so many of us need this. We want to be seen, we want to be heard, and tonight you’ve shown us that it is possible, and I’m grateful,” Michelle Yeoh said in her powerful speech at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.

“I quickly realized that this moment no longer belongs to just me, it also belongs to everyone who has asked for change,” Ke Huy Quan said in his emotional speech upon being the first Asian to win a SAG Award for Supporting Role.

In addition to this rise of Asian empowerment, a lot of attention these past few years has been on representing the voices of Black people. When Marvel Studios introduced Black Panther as an addition to their other films, the hero was born with a strong, capable power. 

Although not winning Best Picture during the time this movie was nominated, the actors and actresses were given decent credit for their talent. The most recent movie of the Black Panther series, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” stands strong with five Oscar nominations. Actress Angela Bassett is nominated for Actress in Supporting Role in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

This movement of POC into what has been considered whitewashing for decades in the Academy Awards shines a deserved spotlight on the talent and hard work of non-white individuals. Even if the film industry has a lot more to accomplish, the persistence and determination of these marginalized groups have been recognized by, like Michelle Yeoh said, having a seat at the table.