Last night millions of people tuned in to watch the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony. In recent years the awards have faced serious and widespread criticism for their constant lack of diversity amongst the nominees.
Their dwindling audience numbers changed this year, but even with the increase this was the second least-watched year for the award show. Regardless, it’s nice to see an increase in nominations for people of color at a time when it’s people of color keeping the movie industry afloat. Latinos had a decent amount of nominations this year for movies including West Side Story, Encanto, and CODA and with nominees Ariana Debose, Eugenio Derbez, and Lin Manuel Miranda, among others.
Despite the low ratings, the 2022 Oscars produced some Latinx moments that have everyone talking.
The Encanto Live Performance of We Don't Talk About Bruno
This moment inspired all kinds of different reactions. When the performance began it seemed like a normal performance of the beloved chart-topping hit song with the original recording cast. Opening with Carolina Gaitan and Mauro Castillo, the performance got off to an excellent start. The rest of the cast trickled in including Stephanie Beatriz, Adassa, and Diane Guerrero, and all seemed well up until that point.
Carolina Gaitan's voice and moves in THAT intro & the way Mauro Castillo compliments her voice! AND THEN STEPHANIE BEATRIZ'S ENTRANCE! And then Adassa's killer voice as always! AND THEN DIANE GUERRERO'S FABULOUS ENTRANCE! #encanto\n\nCould've been a masterpiece ruined by #oscars pic.twitter.com/HJWGZe4KCL— xia :) (@xia :)) 1648436755
Then, the song took a sudden hard right and took us on a journey we weren’t expecting. Meghan the Stallion, Becky G, and Luis Fonsi took over the performance, and this is where most of the critique and Twitter hot-takes come in. People felt upset that the moment had been taken from the cast of the movie and “ruined” the much-awaited live performance of the popular song.
THIS IS NOT WE DONT TALK ABOUT BRUNO! Y\u2019all had us wait this long for this #Oscarspic.twitter.com/J4NW9co7EV— Nikki (@Nikki) 1648432375
Me trying to stay cool after what they did to \u201cwe dont talk about bruno\u201d like whyyyy!! #Oscarspic.twitter.com/3yFdFGvBIr— 'Liza Vargas (@'Liza Vargas) 1648433949
That was a serious disappointing \u201cWe Dont Talk About Bruno\u201d performance. The cast got 1 line each of the first verse and then some celebs take over and sing made up lyrics about the Oscars. This is not the amazing live performance of Bruno song I had hoped for. #AcademyAwardpic.twitter.com/kqJISpKDcd— Setsu (@Setsu) 1648432669
Watch for yourself. It’s uhhh, interesting…
2022 Oscars Live 'We Don't Talk About Bruno' Performancewww.youtube.com
Rachel Zegler Gets Invited 6 Days Before The Event After Fan Outrage
Fans were furious to find out that Rachel Zegler, who plays Maria in Spielberg’s West Side Story, had not been invited to the ceremony. Many naturally wondered how it was even possible not to invite the star of a movie that inspired 7 nominations. The slight came to light when a fan asked Zegler what she was wearing to the Oscars, to which she responded: “I’m not invited so sweatpants and my boyfriend’s flannel”
After the academy received a fair amount of backlash from an incensed audience, Zegler received an invitation and was asked to present an award just 6 days before the ceremony. Some noted that her not being invited might be due to scheduling conflicts, as she is currently filming Disney’s remake of Snow White in the U.K, but, Zegler previously expressed her desire to attend and said: “she had tried everything.”
Zegler, in true Latina form, also didn’t miss the opportunity to drop some shade during her presentation. In response to Jacob Elordi’s comment about never imagining being at the Oscars, she quipped, “6 days ago I never thought that I would be here.”
all hail @rachelzegler, queen of manifestation\n\n#Oscarspic.twitter.com/RJiPawF6ab— GIPHY Pop (@GIPHY Pop) 1648428901
Ariana DeBose becomes the first Afro-Latina, openly queer Oscar Winner
Ariana DeBose who played Anita in the musical West Side Story, made history as she became the first Afro-Latina openly queer woman to win this award. Her Oscar for best-supporting actress was much deserved as her performance as Anita has been described as both impactful and breathtaking.
As DeBose accepted her award, she left us with a powerful message on why representation matters, she said in her acceptance speech "Lastly, imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus. Look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color and Afro-Latina who found her strength in life through art, and that's what I believe we're here to celebrate," she said. "So to anyone who has ever questioned your identity -- ever, ever, ever -- or you find yourself living in the gray spaces, I promise you this: There is indeed a place for us."
This wonderful young Afro-Latina artist \u2066@ArianaDeBose\u2069. Watching \u2066@TheRitaMoreno -\u2069 who won an #Oscar for the role of Anita - cheer on this new Anita is just beautiful. \u201cThere is indeed a place for us.\u201d \n#Oscars2022pic.twitter.com/UQvtCyHDPT— Sherrilyn Ifill (@Sherrilyn Ifill) 1648427096
Encanto Wins Best Animated Feature Film
The movie that had us all singing and dancing in our living rooms, won the Oscar for best-animated feature film. For the Latinx community the significance of this film goes well beyond just being entertaining, but being a much-needed accurate representation of Latino families and the complicated dynamics of Latino families. It touched on subjects like immigration, fleeing homelands due to violence, generational trauma, and the pressures of being a Latina daughter. For that and many more reasons this moment will go down in history as a win for Latinos.
"I am so proud to be a part of a film that puts beautiful, diverse characters in front and center\u2014and that people everywhere are seeing themselves in the film."\n\nAn emotional moment as @Encanto wins Best Animated Feature Film. https://abcn.ws/35gywBT\u00a0 #oscarspic.twitter.com/EqAlNb9JjK— ABC News (@ABC News) 1648429669
Lupita Nyong'o's reaction to the Will Smith/Chris Rock slapping incident represented all of us.
There are plenty of hot takes on the incident itself, so we’ll bow out of adding yet another, however, Lupita Nyong’o’s reaction has been flooding our timeline all day long, and we just have to say: Yeah Lupita, we had the exact same reaction.
All of us are Lupita Nyong'o #Oscarspic.twitter.com/2iZSL9i2L7— Nicol \ud83c\udf38 (@Nicol \ud83c\udf38) 1648434914
Honorable mention: Dos Orugitas by Sebastian Yatra
Another live performance that was a display of Latino excellence was Dos Orugitas by Sebastian Yatra; the tear jerking song that plays during one of the saddest parts of the Encanto movie. The song and Yatra’s performance were simply gorgeous. No mash-ups needed.
Sebastián Yatra - Dos Oruguitas (Live from "The 94th Academy Awards")www.youtube.com