Actor Oscar Isaac is slowly progressing to be one of the most recognized stars in the world. He has played a wide variety of roles, starring in blockbusters like the Star Wars sequel trilogy and Marvel’s Moonknight, as well as dramatic films such as Ex Machina and Inside Llewyin Davis.
The actor is also known for his suave yet fun off-screen demeanor. He made headlines when he cracked a smart and political joke during the 2020 Oscars Ceremony, while he presenting an award with fellow Latino actress Salma Hayek.
What Was Oscar Isaac’s Viral Academy Award Joke?
Oscar Isaac is one of the most prominent actors working in the industry today. He is credited with having pushed the boundaries of how Latin Americans were portrayed in mainstream cinema. He is also considered to be one of the greatest actors of the generation, earning a Golden Globe Award for his miniseries Show Me A Hero.
While he has played intense characters on-screen, he has a fun side to him as well. In 2020, he cracked a joke during the Academy Awards (via Uproxx), which took a dig at the lack of diversity in the nominations. While presenting the Best Sound Mixing and Editing Award at the Oscars, co-presenter Salma Hayek held Isaac’s arm and claimed that she had held an Oscar.
Isaac immediately quipped with, “Congratulations. Oscar’s not so white now.” The dig was a reference to the ‘Oscars So White’ campaign that brought up the issue of the lack of diversity at the Oscar Awards in terms of nominations. The campaign highlighted that the nominees for the past few years were only filled with white men and there was a serious lack of female and people of color nominees.
Oscar Isaac’s quip was a serious dig at the ceremony which had only tried to ‘fix’ the problem by adding a diverse group of presenters rather than actual nominations. Oscar Isaac’s statement went viral due to it being addressed by an insider and many fans took to social media to appreciate the actor for bringing it up.
The #OscarsSoWhite Movement And Its Impact
Oscar Isaac’s comment highlighted a serious issue that has been in conversation for a long time. The ‘Oscars So White’ campaign began eight years ago in 2015 in response to the lack of diverse nominees at the Academy Awards, despite more stories and artists emerging.
According to a study by the University Of South California (via BBC), there were only 8% of Oscar nominees that were people of color in the eight years leading up to the campaign. The campaign which started in 2015 by April Reign was in response to the Oscars nominating white actors in the 20 acting categories.
The hashtag campaign soon gained traction and the Oscars’ history of bad representation was highlighted. The Academy immediately took stock of its problem. Since the campaign, efforts have been made to add more diverse nominees to the Awards. The same USC statistic now stands at 17% of people of color being nominated in the eight years since the campaign.
The Academy has also diversified its membership by inviting younger and more global members to be part of it. During the 2020 Oscars, Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite became the first non-English film to win Best Picture. The hope now is for Oscar Isaac’s quip to turn into reality.