Black nominees were conspicuously absent from the 88th Academy Awards, but the Oscars ceremony itself made sure to draw attention to the lack of diversity.
From Chris Rock’s opening monologue onward, last night’s Oscars felt like it was setting the stage for serious change. Rock called out Hollywood for its passive-aggressive, sorority-style racism and demanded equal opportunities and recognition for black actors. And Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, made a passionate speech about the need for diverse storytelling.
"Our audiences are global and rich in diversity," she said, "and every facet of our industry should be as well."
Rock nodded to the ongoing crisis of police killings in the U.S. and ended the evening with a shout-out to the Black Lives Matter movement. This year, the Oscars weren’t just a who’s who of the hottest stars in Hollywood — the ceremony got political in necessary ways.