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The Real Winner At This Year’s Academy Awards Was #OscarsSoWhite

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 29/02/2016 Brennan Williams
ATHENA IMAGE © Kevin Winter via Getty Images ATHENA IMAGE

There was a bright spotlight on diversity in Hollywood at the Oscars on Sunday night, in spite of an industry that largely ignores it the rest of the year.

Beginning with the red carpet, stars opined on what might have been, in other years, too delicate a subject to broach: the film industry's failure to include people of color. In his opening monologue, host Chris Rock gleefully went after the Academy’s all-white nominations and the broader practice of skipping over people of color for opportunities in Hollywood. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles event sparked conversation and #OscarsSoWhite awareness on social media, while others chose to boycott in protest.

Here are some of the most talked about diversity moments from this year’s Academy Awards:

Chris Rock spared no time jumping into #OscarsSoWhite ...

... Pulling out some jokes that rang uncomfortably true.

Meanwhile, Hollywood diversity was on everyone's minds ...

No matter their race ...

Because the Oscars this year totally missed the mark ...

Chris Rock offered a solution to addressing the issue ...

Notable black celebs expressed their thoughts on the red carpet ...

"A lot of people have asked me why I'm here tonight, and the thing I'm thinking about is, if you look at the history of movements, the history of change, a lot of the voices are needed at the table. I really respect and actually admire some of the people who are not here tonight, I really get it, but for me, I felt like my voice -- in my heart -- my voice is best used at the table." -- Kerry Washington

"If you really want to protest, then don't go to the movies that don't have the people you want to see." -- Whoopi Goldberg

"We're not going to get to the promised land until we regard one another as part of the same family. Black, Latino as one family. That's America." --Louis Gossett Jr.

“We know it’s obvious that’s it’s a problem, and now we want to work toward a solution. I want to be a part of that change. I’m an Academy member now, so I want to be a voice for some of the black, brown people, and women -- the people who usually get overlooked. It’s not just an Oscar problem, it’s a Hollywood issue of us not seeing a lot of inclusion in the films being made and the people that make the decisions. And we also know it’s an American issue. So my thing is, I know that we’re gonna make this change. People had to speak up for this change to happen. But I’m also wanting this change to happen for the kids in Flint, I’m also wanting it for the people in Chicago that’s dealing with the violence right now.” -- Common

And on the stage ...

“I want to take a moment to applaud all of my actors and actresses of color that didn’t get nominated tonight. The reason why I say that is because I want them to understand that tonight should not determine the hard work and effort that you put into your craft. At the end of the day we love what we do and we’re breaking major ground doing it. These problems of today will eventually become problems of the old. Let’s not let this negative issue of diversity beat us. Let’s continue to do what we do best and work hard.” -- Kevin Hart

Meanwhile, others took action from outside the event ...

“You are out of time…This will be the last night of an all-white Oscars.” -- Al Sharpton 

Judging from an eight-year low in ratings, let's hope this is the last #OscarsSoWhite!

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