The 2018 Oscars were held on Sunday night, March 4, following months of controversy over sexual harassment and assault revelations in the industry that led to the downfall of powerful figures like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. So if these really were the #MeToo Oscars, then how did they do? Scroll down to the bottom of this post to vote in our poll, and check out the complete list of Oscar winners here.
Jimmy Kimmel hosted the Oscars for the second year in a row, and after presiding last year right after Donald Trump‘s election and inauguration he had plenty of experience handling the high-stakes pressure of an intense political climate. This year he navigated the issues of the moment with an easygoing charm that found humor in heavy subject matter without minimizing the issue. He pointed to the Oscar statue itself as an example of ideal male behavior: it keeps its hands to itself, and no genitalia — a literal “statue of limitations.”
The issue of female empowerment arose repeatedly throughout the night with presenters highlighting the achievements of nominated cinematographer Rachel Morrison (“Mudbound”) and writer-director Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”). Three of the women who spoke out about Harvey Weinstein‘s abuse — Ashely Judd, Annabella Sciorra and Salma Hayek Pinault — presented a clip package in which women and people of color including Ava DuVernay, Gerwig and Kumail Nanjiani discussed the benefits of inclusiveness in the industry. Best Actress winner Frances McDormand (“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”) even recommended “inclusion riders” for contracts that would require a production to meet certain diversity standards.
But there was at least one moment Oscar voters might be severely taken to task for: “Dear Basketball” won Best Animated Short, which meant a win for director Glen Keane and producer Kobe Bryant. Bryant is best known for his career as a basketball player with the LA Lakers, but in 2003 he was the subject of sexual assault allegations. Whatever you might think of the veracity of those claims, handing him an Oscar in the same year James Franco was snubbed for Best Actor and Casey Affleck dropped out of presenting at the ceremony following allegations against both of them sends a mixed message at best. The academy might wake up to some uncomfortable headlines and think pieces in the days and weeks to come.