January 23, 2021

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Janelle Monáe Opens Oscars By Calling Out #OscarsSoWhite In Musical Extravaganza

3 min read
<div><p>That’s how you open a show.</p><p>In a performance that included everything from placing a hat on Tom Hanks’ head to putting <a href="https://twitter.com/Cinephile420/status/1226675826504224774?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1226675826504224774&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fus.edit.huffpost.net%2Fcms" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Leonardo DiCaprio </a>on the spot to sing, Janelle Monáe celebrated queer artists, Black History Month and called out the Academy for the Oscars being, well, so white,<a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/april-reign-oscarssowhite_n_56d21088e4b03260bf771018" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> </a>in the opening of the 92nd Academy Awards.</p></div><div><blockquote data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Janelle Monáe came and did what she had to do. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/oscars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">#oscars</a><a href="https://t.co/AocAH1U0sJ" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pic.twitter.com/AocAH1U0sJ</a></p>— What An Experience (@UrsulaMorrow_) <a href="https://twitter.com/UrsulaMorrow_/status/1226686640879493120?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">February 10, 2020</a></blockquote></div><div><p>Monáe started the musical extravaganza with a Mr. Rogers-inspired opening and was later joined on stage by Billy Porter and dancers representing nominated films. However, the moments that stood out the most were the singer’s pointed statements made throughout.</p></div><!-- start relEntries --><div><h3>Related...</h3><ul><li><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/oscars-2020-janelle-monae_au_5e40a848c5b6b70887027a9f?ncid=other_huffpostre_pqylmel2bk8&utm_campaign=related_articles" aria-label="Janelle Monáe Lights Up 2020 Oscars Red Carpet In Draped Hood With Endless Sparkle"> Janelle Monáe Lights Up 2020 Oscars Red Carpet In Draped Hood With Endless Sparkle </a></li><li><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/oscars-2020-brad-pitt_au_5e40baa2c5b6f1f57f13cc2b?ncid=other_huffpostre_pqylmel2bk8&utm_campaign=related_articles" aria-label="Emotional Brad Pitt Dedicates First Acting Oscar Win To Kids: 'I Adore You'"> Emotional Brad Pitt Dedicates First Acting Oscar Win To Kids: 'I Adore You' </a></li><li><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/keanu-reeves-brought-his-mum-to-the-oscars_au_5e40bb15c5b6bb0ffc13c1f7?ncid=other_huffpostre_pqylmel2bk8&utm_campaign=related_articles" aria-label="Keanu Reeves Brought His Mum To The Oscars, Wins Best Son"> Keanu Reeves Brought His Mum To The Oscars, Wins Best Son </a></li><li><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/oscars-2020-spike-lee-kobe-bryant_au_5e40b5c0c5b6b7088702a69a?ncid=other_huffpostre_pqylmel2bk8&utm_campaign=related_articles" aria-label="Spike Lee Honours Kobe Bryant At Oscars With Los Angeles Lakers-Themed Suit"> Spike Lee Honours Kobe Bryant At Oscars With Los Angeles Lakers-Themed Suit </a></li><li><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/oscars-2020-red-carpet-best-dressed_au_5e4092aec5b6f1f57f133ff1?ncid=other_huffpostre_pqylmel2bk8&utm_campaign=related_articles" aria-label="Oscars 2020: See All The Best Dressed Stars At The Academy Awards"> Oscars 2020: See All The Best Dressed Stars At The Academy Awards </a></li><li><a href="https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/oscars-2020-natalie-portman_au_5e40acfec5b6b70887028829?ncid=other_huffpostre_pqylmel2bk8&utm_campaign=related_articles" aria-label="Natalie Portman Drags Oscars With Cape Embroidered With Snubbed Female Directors"> Natalie Portman Drags Oscars With Cape Embroidered With Snubbed Female Directors </a></li></ul></div><!-- end relEntries --><div><p>“It’s time to come alive because the Oscars is so white,” sang Monáe during one moment, referencing the<a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/april-reign-oscarssowhite_n_56d21088e4b03260bf771018" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"> hashtag and social movement started in 2015</a> by <a href="https://slack-redir.net/link?url=http%3A%2F%2FBroadwayBlack.com" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">BroadwayBlack.com</a> managing editor April Reign.</p></div><div><blockquote data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Janelle Monae on stage at the Oscars, surrounded by people dressed as characters from snubbed films: "It's time to come alive because the Oscars is so white!" <a href="https://t.co/bZMrffBcl9" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pic.twitter.com/bZMrffBcl9</a></p>— David Mack (@davidmackau) <a href="https://twitter.com/davidmackau/status/1226673451454418944?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">February 10, 2020</a></blockquote></div><div><p>“Tonight we celebrate all the amazing talent in this room,” Monáe said in another moment. “We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films. And I’m so proud to stand here as a black queer artist telling stories. Happy Black History Month.”</p></div><div><blockquote data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Janelle Monae at the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Oscars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">#Oscars</a>: “I’m so proud to stand here as a Black, queer artist telling stories. Happy Black History Month." <a href="https://t.co/2VASQ8NOKF" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pic.twitter.com/2VASQ8NOKF</a></p>— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) <a href="https://twitter.com/Phil_Lewis_/status/1226674643572011008?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">February 10, 2020</a></blockquote></div><div><p>The 2020 Oscars is so white you need to wear sunglasses when looking at the nominees. As HuffPost’s <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/diversity-representation-hollywood-2019-box-office_n_5e396133c5b687dacc72f97a" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Marina Fang </a>pointed out, “Out of the 20 acting nominees, only one actor of color, ‘Harriet’ star Cynthia Erivo, was included.” </p><p>Additionally, <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/natalie-portman-oscars-cape-female-directors_n_5e409ae3c5b6f1f57f1354a0?rmr" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">no women were nominated</a> for Best Director, again. </p><p>None of that is shocking, considering the Academy’s history. However, no one was expecting Monáe, or anyone really, to call that out in the show’s opening. </p><p>In 2019, the Oscars went hostless after <a href="https://www.huffpost.com/entry/kevin-hart-homophobic-jokes_n_5c096ad3e4b04046345a2694" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Kevin Hart’s </a>old homophobic tweets were surfaced online, but the Academy had an easy fallback plan. That year, the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” was nominated for Best Picture, paving the way for Adam Lambert and the surviving members of Queen to open the ceremony. </p><p>This year was different. Like the Best Original Song nominee from “Frozen 2,” the opening of the hostless 92nd Academy Awards was going “into the unknown.” But with Monáe leading the way, there’s nowhere else we’d rather be.</p></div><div><blockquote data-dnt="true"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">SAOIRSE RONAN IS MESMERIZED WITH JANELLE MONAE’S PERFORMANCE I MEAN SAME <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/oscars?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">#oscars</a><a href="https://t.co/2dz01Colpt" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">pic.twitter.com/2dz01Colpt</a></p>— saoirse ronan archive (@archivesaoirse) <a href="https://twitter.com/archivesaoirse/status/1226675275108421632?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">February 10, 2020</a></blockquote></div><section><h5></h5><div></div></section>

That’s how you open a show.

In a performance that included everything from placing a hat on Tom Hanks’ head to putting Leonardo DiCaprio on the spot to sing, Janelle Monáe celebrated queer artists, Black History Month and called out the Academy for the Oscars being, well, so white, in the opening of the 92nd Academy Awards.

Monáe started the musical extravaganza with a Mr. Rogers-inspired opening and was later joined on stage by Billy Porter and dancers representing nominated films. However, the moments that stood out the most were the singer’s pointed statements made throughout.

“It’s time to come alive because the Oscars is so white,” sang Monáe during one moment, referencing the hashtag and social movement started in 2015 by BroadwayBlack.com managing editor April Reign.

“Tonight we celebrate all the amazing talent in this room,” Monáe said in another moment. “We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films. And I’m so proud to stand here as a black queer artist telling stories. Happy Black History Month.”

The 2020 Oscars is so white you need to wear sunglasses when looking at the nominees. As HuffPost’s Marina Fang pointed out, “Out of the 20 acting nominees, only one actor of color, ‘Harriet’ star Cynthia Erivo, was included.” 

Additionally, no women were nominated for Best Director, again. 

None of that is shocking, considering the Academy’s history. However, no one was expecting Monáe, or anyone really, to call that out in the show’s opening. 

In 2019, the Oscars went hostless after Kevin Hart’s old homophobic tweets were surfaced online, but the Academy had an easy fallback plan. That year, the Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic “Bohemian Rhapsody” was nominated for Best Picture, paving the way for Adam Lambert and the surviving members of Queen to open the ceremony. 

This year was different. Like the Best Original Song nominee from “Frozen 2,” the opening of the hostless 92nd Academy Awards was going “into the unknown.” But with Monáe leading the way, there’s nowhere else we’d rather be.

Source: Huffington Post Australia Athena2 https://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/entry/2020-oscars-so-white-janelle-monae_au_5e40beb6c5b6bb0ffc13ce41

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