It’s Academy Awards season once again and as expected, social media is abuzz. Apart from the usual debates on who and what should’ve won, this year’s edition held a couple of stan-worthy moments in the diversity department.
H.E.R wins the Oscar for Best Original Song
Gabriella Sarmiento Wilson, better known as H.E.R., is officially an Academy Award Winner following a nod for Best Original Song for ‘Fight For You’, an anthem featured in ‘Judas and the Black Messiah’.
The win also catapults H.E.R. halfway into the prestigious EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) territory. The 23-year-old also won a Grammy for Song of the Year for ‘I Can’t Breathe’ earlier in March of this year. Will she be the 17th member of the exclusive club? Fingers crossed it happens.
Steven Yeun makes history with Best Actor nomination
Steven Yeun has come a long, loooong way from being pizza guy Glen on The Walking Dead. The South-Korean born Yeun became the first Asian-American to be nominated for Best Actor for his role as an immigrant father in Best Picture nominee, Minari.
He would eventually lose to Anthony Hopkins, who also got a milestone of his own for being the oldest winner in the category at 83 years old.
South Korea’s Youn Yuh-jung wins Best Supporting Actress
A staple of South Korean cinema has found success on the international stage. 73-year-old Youn Yuh-jung becomes the first South Korean actor to nab an Oscar, winning Best Supporting Actress for her role as the spiritual grandmother in ‘Minari’. She is also the country’s first-ever nominee in the category.
But even with her historic win, Youn tried to downplay the feat while being an absolute joy. ‘I don’t believe in competition… I have just a little bit of luck, I think, maybe. I’m luckier than you.’, she said.
Chloe Zhao becomes the second woman to win Best Director
Newsflash: the Oscars haven’t been exactly inclusive of women directors. In its 93-year history, only seven women had ever been nominated for Best Director. Two walked away with a win; Kathryn Bigelow for ‘Hurt Locker’ in 2009, and now, Chloe Zhao for ‘Nomadland’.
Zhao is of Chinese descent, having lived in Beijing until age 14. She then attended school in London and Los Angeles, before studying film in New York. Prior to her Oscar win, Zhao had already won Best Director for ‘Nomadland’ in other award-giving bodies such as the Golden Globes and the BAFTAs.