The hits and misses of The Oscars 2023

Last night, the 95th annual Academy Awards took place, and erring on the side of caution (after last year's slapgate’ fiasco), the ceremony lacked a little less drama, though host Jimmy Kimmel couldn’t resist a few quips to make light of last year's debacle. And, although only 5% of global youth feel that ‘movies’ have the greatest impact on popular culture within their country, the Academy was doing their darndest to attract this younger cohort where they are through musical performances (hello striped back Gaga, RiRi, and bump), and hanging out all over TikTok to livestream the event. However, let’s take a moment to highlight the general sentiment now doing the rounds after last night's show.


Although we loved the Four Weddings and a Funeral reunion between Hugh Grant and Andie MacDowall on stage, Hugh Grant was setting the social sphere alight by dividing audiences over his awkward pre-ceremony ‘from the champagne carpet’ interview with model Ashley Graham. While some suggest he was just plain rude, others comment that there was a disconnect between how Americans and British people viewed the interview. Elsewhere during the ceremony, Angela Bassett was praised for her “real” reaction to losing in the Best Supporting Actor category – which Michael B Jordan and Jonathan Majors alluded to onstage moments later. However, perhaps the most controversial moment of last night came from host Jimmy Kimmel who was slammed for “harassing” Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai when reading out a fan question referencing the Harry Styles and Chris Pine #spitgate dispute, drawing awkward laughs around the room. Malala, while appearing a little fazed by Kimmel’s joke, responded beautifully with, “I only talk about peace.”

— Anrae, 22, VA (Cassandra Collective)


Hollywood is still disproportionately white and male. But a new USC study shows that while the Academy Awards remain resistant to change in many categories, incremental gains in inclusivity have been made since the-#OscarsSoWhite of 2015, including a 9% point gain to 17% of nominees being from underrepresented racial or ethnic groups. Women nominees also showed a slight 6% point improvement, representing 27%. Even with the Asian- and Asian-American-led “Everything Everywhere All at Once” making history and several LGBTQ+ stories having been nominated, including The Whale and TÁR, films with Black leads and directors were shut out of the nominations entirely - no actors of color broke into the lead actor category, and no women were nominated for best director.

— Seth, 14, OH (Cassandra Collective)


For the first time in its history, The 95th annual Oscars ‘champagne carpet’ featured American Sign Language interpreters - one among several accessibility additions the Academy made to the 2023 ceremony and live telecast. A carpet access guide was also distributed to all press to help guide their pre-show coverage both with the talent and for the show’s at-home audience which offered information about the descriptions being used in an interview, in addition to how a question or a conversation was being directed. Along with live captions and audio descriptions as part of the broadcast, the description team featured blind audio and reached out to different influencers to help them spread the message about their accessibility offerings, like the ASL stream.