11 Big Latinx and POC Oscar Moments That Aren’t Making Headlines (But Should Be)
So, in case you haven’t heard, the Oscars were last night. And while most of the post-Oscars headlines are focusing on the slap heard ’round the world, there were a ton of other press-worthy moments that haven’t gotten their due because of the drama between Will Smith and Chris Rock.
Despite the shocking events of last night, the 2022 Oscars was a victorious night for Latinos and people of color. Here are 11 big moments for Latinx and POC communities that aren’t making headlines.
1. Ariana DeBose became the first-ever Afro-Latina AND openly queer Afro-Latina to win an Oscar.
“West Side” story actress Ariana DeBose became the first Afro-Latina actress ever to win an Oscar. DeBose won for her breathtaking performance as Anita in Stephen Spielberg’s 2021 remake of “West Side Story“.
DeBose referred to both her identity as an Afro-Latina and a queer woman in her touching acceptance speech.
“You see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art. And that’s what I believe we’re here to celebrate…,” she said. She added: “To anybody who has ever questioned your identity, ever. Or who find yourselves living the gray spaces. I promise you this: there is indeed, a place for us.”
2. For the first time in Oscar history, three women hosted the Oscars-and two of them were Black women.
Women are often overlooked for giant gigs like hosting the Oscars, and women of color even more so. This year, three women-Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall and Amy Schumer-hosted the Oscars, two of whom are women of color. All three women were incredibly funny and did a great job keeping the ceremony on track when it almost went off the rails.
3. The Queen herself, Beyoncé, opened the night with a stunning performance of “Be Alive”.
Queen B started the night off with a breathtaking pre-recorded performance of “Be Alive,” which was nominated for Best Original Song for “King Richard“. Beyoncé had done the performance from a tennis court in Compton-where Venus and Serena famously practiced when they were growing up.
4. Rita Moreno strutted down the red carpet at 90 years old.
Need we say more? The Oscar-winning Latina legend graced us with her presence and looked fabulous while doing it. The 90-year-old national treasure turned heads in a stunning, one-shoulder black ruffled Carolina Herrera gown. She topped off the look with a daring feathered hat that she said she just picked up from France.
5. Sebastián Yatra performed “Dos Oruguitas” and brought the house down.
Colombian singer Sebastián Yatra performed a touching rendition of the Oscar-nominated song “Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto”. Two dancers dressed in traditional Colombian clothing danced alongside Yatra. The entire performance was a lovely tribute to Colombian culture.
7. “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” stole the show with a remix live performance.
Although the chart-topping hit “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” wasn’t nominated for an Oscar, the entire cast appeared to perform the song anyway. To make the entire thing even better, three guest performers made a surprise appearance: Becky G, Luis Fonsi and Megan Thee Stallion came and re-mixed “Bruno” to be even more fun than it already is.
8. “Encanto” won for Best Animated Picture.
Sunday night truly belonged to “Encanto”. The fan-favorite film ended up taking home the trophy for Best Animated Picture. Notably, the film’s co-director, Charise Castro Smith, is the first Latina ever to co-direct a Walt Disney Animation Studios movie.
9. Quest Love won for best documentary.
Beloved musician Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson won the Oscar for Best Documentary for his movie “Summer of Soul” about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.
Although many viewers were too stunned to comprehend his speech (he won right after the Rock-Smith confrontation), Questlove dedicated his win to marginalized communities. “This is not about me,” he said. “This is about marginalized people in Harlem that needed to heal from pain.”
10. Rachel Zegler attended the show and joked about (previously) not being invited to the Oscars.
After the hubbub surrounding her Oscars-invite snub, Rachel Zegler made light of the situation when presenting the award for Best Visual Effects.
“Growing up in Australia, I never thought I would stand up on this stage,” said co-presenter Jacob Elordi. “And I never thought that I would be here six days ago,” quipped Zegler, to a big audience laugh. She raised her fist in the air and added “We did it! Dreams really do come true. Pretty fast, too…” right after.
11. Eugenio Derbez took the stage for “Coda'”s Best Picture win.
It’s likely you haven’t seen “Coda” yet, and if you haven’t, then you might be swayed by the fact that beloved Mexican actor Eugenio Derbez has a pivotal role in the movie. In “Coda”, Derbez plays a music teacher who mentors his student who is the only hearing member of her deaf family.
After the win, Derbez was candid about how overwhelmed he was with the movie’s triumph and what it means to the deaf community. “I have learned so much from [the deaf] community,” he said in a post-win interview. “I hope they don’t get overlooked and fall into stereotypes like [Hollywood] did to Latinos. They call us to be a gangster, a drug dealer, or gardener. I hope the deaf community is also considered for movies that don’t have to be with deaf people. That for me is inclusivity.”
What other moments do you think were worth making headlines from this year’s Oscars?
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