Team Chris Rock and the Diversity Score for Oscar 2022

Asians only had one win in a major category at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday, 27 March 2022; two if you include producers. The Japanese film “Drive My Car” (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe) became the fifth Japanese film to win in this category. Japan lags behind Italy which has won this category 14 times and France which won 12 times. 

Japan won for Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon” 羅生門 (1951), “Gate of Hell” 地獄門 (1954), “Samurai, The Legend of Musashi” 宮本武蔵 (1955), and “Departures” おくりびと (2008). Previously, Japan had been tied with Spain and Denmark, both of which have four wins. 

This year, an Asian Indian American shared the Oscar for Best Documentary – Feature (“Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” but only the name of the African American winner, Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, was announced with the others dismissed as “White men.”  Joseph Patel is proudly Asian Indian American. Moreover, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein, who also shared the award, are Jewish, and also represent a minority. 

Indian British Aneil Karia and Pakistani British Riz Ahmed won an Oscar for their live-action short, “The Long Goodbye,” which is associated with Ahmed’s second studio album of the same name. Ahmed was nominated for Best Actor last year for “Sound of Metal.” Ahmed was the first Muslim Best Actor Oscar nominee. 

While the real news should be Los Angeleno Troy Kotsur’s win for Best Supporting Actor for “CODA,” most people were distracted by Will Smith’s unscripted act of assaulting presenter Chris Rock.  Kotsur is the first for male deaf actor to win an Oscar and the second deaf performer to win in an acting category. The actress who played his wife, Marlee Matlin,  won a Best Actress Oscar in 1986 for “Children of a Lesser God” to be the first.  “CODA” also won Best Adapted Screenplay for director Sian Heder and Best Picture. “CODA” is the story a a young girl who is the Child Of Deaf Adults (her parents and brother). 

I remember Kotsur’s excellent stage performance in Deaf West production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” and saw him on stage in the musical “Big River” when it came to Los Angeles. Kotsur had been part of the original Tony Award-nominated Broadway cast  for the 2003 production. 

Jane Campion won best director for “The Power of the Dog,” becoming only the third woman to win in this category. 

In 2016, after the three accountants skit, I would have never predicted that I’d be Team Chris Rock and, thanks to the poor behavior of Will Smith. Chris Rock is 5-foot-10. Will Smith is 6-foot-2. At 53, you’d think Smith would know how to act at an awards ceremony. Rock compared Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith to Demi Moore in a film that came out the same year as Will married Jada, the 1997 “GI Jane.” At first, Smith laughed and then when the camera focused on Rock, suddenly Smith walked on stage and slapped Rock. Smith then returned to his seat as, yelling out the f-bomb twice.

And suddenly, even though twenty minutes later, Smith’s Oscar win wasn’t a milestone, he’s become the unbecoming center of attention of Oscars 2022 and more people seem interested in the Demi Moore film that wasn’t nominated than the films that were and won.

The diversity score for this Oscar ceremony still has Hispanic/Latinos under-represented. Ariana DeBose, who won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for “West Side Story,” is both Latina and African American, so she counts for two categories. In addition, she also can be included in LGBTQ. Hispanic/Latino are 15 percent even though they are 19 percent nationally and 49 percent in LA County. With wins by Will Smith (Best Actor for “King Richard”), DeBose and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson (Best Documentary for “The Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”) bring the percentage up to 21 percent, well over the 13 percent of the national population and the 9 percent for LA County.

Women, in the categories where the winner can be of any gender, are under represented at 38 percent. Asians with one win for the International Feature Film not in English were over-represented on a national level, but under represented for Los Angeles County. 

Looking beyond this one night, there’s still a disparity.

HISTORICAL NUMBERS

BEST ACTOR

African American and Black Actors

Will Smith became the fifth African American man to win Best Actor. 

  • Sidney Poitier (1963): “Lilies of the Field”
  • Denzel Washington (2001): “Training Day”
  • Jamie Foxx (2004): “Ray”
  • Forest Whitaker (2006): “The Last King of Scotland”

Smith had been nominated for “Ali” when Washington won and for “The Pursuit of Happyness” when Whitaker won. 

Hispanic/Latino

The only Hispanic/Latino to ever win in this category was Puerto Rican-born José Ferrer in 1950 for “Cyrano de Bergerac.”

Asian American

There are three people of Asian descent who have won Best Actor, but all of whom would be considered White by the US Census Bureau:.

  • Yul Brynner (1956): “The King and I”
  • Ben Kingsley (1982): “Gandhi”
  • F. Murray Abraham (1984): “Amadeus”

Brynner and Kingsley were not born in the US. Brynner was born in Russia.  Kingsley was born in England and is of Indian descent. Abraham is of Syrian descent. 

Indigenous People

No nominations. 

BEST ACTRESS 

Halle Berry won Best Actress in 2001 for “Monster’s Ball,” but no Hispanic/Latina has won in that category.  Three women of Asian descent have won Best Actress, but all of them would be considered White or are White-passing. 

  • Vivien Leigh (1939): “Gone with the Wing”
  • Vivien Leigh (1951): “A Streetcar Named Desire”
  • Cher (1987): “Moonstruck”
  • Natalie Portman (2010): “Black Swan”

Leigh and Cher are part Armenian. Portman was born in Israel. 

Indigenous People

Two nominations (Māori Keisha Castle-Hughes for “Whale Rider” in 2003 and Mixtec and Trique Native Mexican Yalitza Aparicio for “Roma” in 2018), but no wins. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

African American/Black

  • Louis Gossett Jr. (1982): “An Officer and a Gentleman”
  • Denzel Washington (1989): “Glory”
  • Morgan Freeman (2004): “Million Dollar Baby”
  • Mahershala Ali (2016): “Moonlight”
  • Mahershala Ali (2017): “Green Book”
  • Daniel Kaluuya (2020): “Judas and the Black Messiah”

Kaluuya is British. 

Hispanic/Latino

  • Anthony Quinn (1952): “Viva Zapata!”
  • Anthony Quinn (1956): “Lust for Life”
  • Benicio del Toro (2000): “Traffic”

Quinn was born in Mexico. Del Toro was born in Puerto Rico.

Asian American

The only win here was the Chinese/Cambodian Haing S. Nor in 1984 in “The Killing Fields.” 

Indigenous People

Two nominations (Chief Dan George (Coast Salish) for “Little Big Man” in 1970 and Graham Greene (Oneida) for “Dances with Wolves” in 1990. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS 

African American/Black

  • Hattie McDaniel (1939): “Gone with the Wing”
  • Whoopi Goldberg (1990): “Ghost”
  • Jennifer Hudson (2006): “Dreamgirls” 
  • Mo’Nique (20095): “Precious”
  • Octavia Spencer (2011): “The Help”
  • Lupita Nyong’o (2013): “12 Years a Slave”
  • Viola Davis (2016): “Fences”
  • Regina King (2018): “If Beale Street Could Talk”
  • Ariana DeBose (2021): “West Side Story”

Hispanic/Latina

  • Rita Moreno (1961): “West Side Story”
  • Lupita Nyong’o (2013): “12 Years a Slave”
  • Ariana DeBose (2021): “West Side Story”

Two of the three winners were both Black and Latino. 

Asian American

  • Miyoshi Umeki (1957): “Sayonara”
  • Youn Yuh-jung (2020): “Minari”

Although both women are East Asian, neither of them were born in the US. There has been no East Asian American actress who has won this category.

Indigenous People

Jocelyne LaGarde (Tahitian) was nominated for her role in “Hawaii.” in 1966. The was the first indigenous person to be nominated in any category. 

BEST DIRECTOR

African American/Black

While six Black directors have been nominated (five US citizens and one British), none have won. 

Hispanic/Latino

  • Alfonso Cuarón (2013): “Gravity”
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu (2014): “Birdman”
  • Alejandro González Iñárritu (2015): “The Revenant”
  • Guillermo del Toro (2017): “The Shape of Water”
  • Alfonso Cuarón (2018): “Roma”

All three of these directors were born in Mexico. 

Asian American

  • Ang Lee (2005): “Brokeback Mountain”
  • Ang Lee (2012): “Life of Pi”
  • Bong Joon-ho (2019): “Parasite”
  • Chloé Zhao (2020): “Nomadland”

Lee was the first Asian director to win and the first person of color. While all of these directors are East Asian, none of these directors were born and raised in the US. 

Indigenous People

No nominations. Taika Waititi (Māori) won Best Adapted Screenplay for “Jojo Rabbit” in 2019.  

In all three race/ethnic groups, none of the winners (if any) were born and raised in the US. That seems to point to a systemic problem. 

HOSTS

Another point on representation is that the hosts have not been that diverse. 

African American/Black

  • Sammy Davis Jr (1972)
  • Richard Pryor (1977)
  • Richard Pryor (1983)
  • Whoopi Goldberg (1996)
  • Whoopi Goldberg (1999)
  • Whoopi Goldberg (2002)
  • Chris Rock (2005)
  • Chris Rock (2016)
  • Regina Hall (2022)
  • Wanda Sykes (2022)

Native American

  • Will Rogers (1934)

I did not notice any hosts that were Hispanic/Latino or Asian American Pacific Islander. 

————————————————————————————-

FULL LIST OF WINNERS:

Best Sound

“Dune,” Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett (WINNER)

“Belfast,” Denise Yarde, Simon Chase, James Mather and Niv Adiri
“No Time to Die,” Simon Hayes, Oliver Tarney, James Harrison, Paul Massey and Mark Taylor
“The Power of the Dog,” Richard Flynn, Robert Mackenzie and Tara Webb
“West Side Story,” Tod A. Maitland, Gary Rydstrom, Brian Chumney, Andy Nelson and Shawn Murphy

Best Documentary Short Subject

“The Queen of Basketball,” Ben Proudfoot (WINNER)

“Audible,” Matt Ogens and Geoff McLean
“Lead Me Home,” Pedro Kos and Jon Shenk
“Three Songs for Benazir,” Elizabeth Mirzaei and Gulistan Mirzaei
“When We Were Bullies,” Jay Rosenblatt

Best Animated Short Film

“The Windshield Wiper,” Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez (WINNER)

“Affairs of the Art,” Joanna Quinn and Les Mills
“Bestia,” Hugo Covarrubias and Tevo Díaz
“Boxballet,” Anton Dyakov
“Robin Robin,” Dan Ojari and Mikey Please

Best Live Action Short Film

“The Long Goodbye,” Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed (WINNER)

“Ala Kachuu – Take and Run,” Maria Brendle and Nadine Lüchinger
“The Dress,” Tadeusz Łysiak and Maciej Ślesicki
“On My Mind,” Martin Strange-Hansen and Kim Magnusson
“Please Hold,” K.D. Dávila and Levin Menekse

Best Original Score

“Dune,” Hans Zimmer (WINNER)

“Don’t Look Up,” Nicholas Britell
“Encanto,” Germaine Franco
“Parallel Mothers,” Alberto Iglesias
“The Power of the Dog,” Jonny Greenwood

Best Film Editing

“Dune,” Joe Walker (WINNER)

“Don’t Look Up,” Hank Corwin
“King Richard”, Pamela Martin
“The Power of the Dog,” Peter Sciberras
“Tick, Tick…Boom!” Myron Kerstein and Andrew Weisblum

Best Production Design

“Dune,” production design: Patrice Vermette; set decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos (WINNER)

“Nightmare Alley,” production design: Tamara Deverell; set decoration: Shane Vieau
“The Power of the Dog,” production design: Grant Major; set decoration: Amber Richards
“The Tragedy of Macbeth,” production design: Stefan Dechant; set decoration: Nancy Haigh
“West Side Story,” production design: Adam Stockhausen; set decoration: Rena DeAngelo

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

“The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh (WINNER)

“Coming 2 America,” Mike Marino, Stacey Morris and Carla Farmer
“Cruella,” Nadia Stacey, Naomi Donne and Julia Vernon
“Dune,” Donald Mowat, Love Larson and Eva von Bahr
“House of Gucci,” Göran Lundström, Anna Carin Lock and Frederic Aspiras

Best Supporting Actress

Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) (WINNER)

Jessie Buckley (“The Lost Daughter”)
Judi Dench (“Belfast”)
Kirsten Dunst (“The Power of the Dog”)
Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”)

Best Cinematography

“Dune,” Greig Fraser (WINNER)

“Nightmare Alley,” Dan Laustsen
“The Power of the Dog,” Ari Wegner
“The Tragedy of Macbeth,” Bruno Delbonnel
“West Side Story,” Janusz Kaminski

Best Visual Effects

“Dune,” Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer (WINNER)

“Free Guy,” Swen Gillberg, Bryan Grill, Nikos Kalaitzidis and Dan Sudick
“No Time to Die,” Charlie Noble, Joel Green, Jonathan Fawkner and Chris Corbould
“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” Christopher Townsend, Joe Farrell, Sean Noel Walker and Dan Oliver
“Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Kelly Port, Chris Waegner, Scott Edelstein and Dan Sudick

Best Animated Feature Film

“Encanto,” Jared Bush, Byron Howard, Yvett Merino and Clark Spencer (WINNER)

“Flee,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
“Luca,” Enrico Casarosa and Andrea Warren
“The Mitchells vs. the Machines,” Mike Rianda, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Kurt Albrecht
“Raya and the Last Dragon,” Don Hall, Carlos López Estrada, Osnat Shurer and Peter Del Vecho

Best Supporting Actor

Troy Kotsur (“CODA”) (WINNER)

Ciarán Hinds (“Belfast”)
Jesse Plemons (“The Power of the Dog”)
J.K. Simmons (“Being the Ricardos”)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (“The Power of the Dog”)

Best International Feature Film

“Drive My Car” (Japan) (WINNER)

“Flee” (Denmark)
“The Hand of God” (Italy)
“Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (Bhutan)
“The Worst Person in the World” (Norway)

Best Costume Design

“Cruella,” Jenny Beavan (WINNER)

“Cyrano,” Massimo Cantini Parrini and Jacqueline Durran
“Dune,” Jacqueline West and Robert Morgan
“Nightmare Alley,” Luis Sequeira
“West Side Story,” Paul Tazewell

Best Original Screenplay

“Belfast,” written by Kenneth Branagh (WINNER)

“Don’t Look Up,” screenplay by Adam McKay; story by Adam McKay and David Sirota
“King Richard,” written by Zach Baylin
“Licorice Pizza,” written by Paul Thomas Anderson
“The Worst Person in the World,” written by Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier

Best Adapted Screenplay

“CODA,” screenplay by Sian Heder (WINNER)

“Drive My Car,” screenplay by Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe
“Dune,” screenplay by Jon Spaihts and Denis Villeneuve and Eric Roth
“The Lost Daughter,” written by Maggie Gyllenhaal
“The Power of the Dog,” written by Jane Campion

Best Documentary Feature

“Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson, Joseph Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein (WINNER)

“Ascension,” Jessica Kingdon, Kira Simon-Kennedy and Nathan Truesdell
“Attica,” Stanley Nelson and Traci A. Curry
“Flee,” Jonas Poher Rasmussen, Monica Hellström, Signe Byrge Sørensen and Charlotte De La Gournerie
“Writing With Fire,” Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh

Best Original Song

“No Time To Die” from “No Time to Die,” music and lyric by Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell (WINNER)

“Be Alive” from “King Richard,” music and lyric by Dixson and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter
“Dos Oruguitas” from “Encanto,” music and lyric by Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Down To Joy” from “Belfast,” music and lyric by Van Morrison
“Somehow You Do” from “Four Good Days,” music and lyric by Diane Warren

Best Director

Jane Campion (“The Power of the Dog”) (WINNER)

Kenneth Branagh (“Belfast”)
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi (“Drive My Car”)
Paul Thomas Anderson (“Licorice Pizza”)
Steven Spielberg (“West Side Story”)

Best Lead Actor

Will Smith (“King Richard”) (WINNER)

Javier Bardem (“Being the Ricardos”)
Benedict Cumberbatch (“The Power of the Dog”)
Andrew Garfield (“Tick, Tick … Boom!”)
Denzel Washington (“The Tragedy of Macbeth”)

Best Lead Actress

Jessica Chastain (“The Eyes of Tammy Faye”) (WINNER)

Olivia Colman (“The Lost Daughter”)
Penélope Cruz (“Parallel Mothers”)
Nicole Kidman (“Being the Ricardos”)
Kristen Stewart (“Spencer”)

Best Picture

“CODA,” Philippe Rousselet, Fabrice Gianfermi and Patrick Wachsberger, producers (WINNER)

“Belfast,” Laura Berwick, Kenneth Branagh, Becca Kovacik and Tamar Thomas, producers
“Don’t Look Up,” Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, producers
“Drive My Car,” Teruhisa Yamamoto, producer
“Dune,” Mary Parent, Denis Villeneuve and Cale Boyter, producers
“King Richard,” Tim White, Trevor White and Will Smith, producers
“Licorice Pizza,” Sara Murphy, Adam Somner and Paul Thomas Anderson, producers
“Nightmare Alley,” Guillermo del Toro, J. Miles Dale and Bradley Cooper, producers
“The Power of the Dog,” Jane Campion, Tanya Seghatchian, Emile Sherman, Iain Canning and Roger Frappier, producers
“West Side Story,” Steven Spielberg and Kristie Macosko Krieger, producers

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