By: Brycen Brackett

The Oscars had plenty to talk about even before they started on February 28. The nominees were announced a few weeks in advance and very quickly people noticed something a little off about the list. It was very white, with no actors of color being nominated and people were not happy about it. The hashtag “OscarsSoWhite” blew up and was trending weeks before the Oscars even happened. Some speculated that they made up for it by hiring Chris Rock, a person of color, to be the host who utilized his position to criticize the Oscars. He called them the “White People’s Choice Awards” and stated bluntly that Hollywood is racist and called them out on their own stage. Some people had some criticism for Rock on social media saying that he was blind to other minorities.

Apart from Chris Rock’s shenanigans, there was still a lot to talk about with Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til It Happens to You.” Her performance acknowledged and started a conversation about rape and how people don’t understand it’s severity. It was a truly powerful and tear jerking performance.

Then Leonardo DiCaprio finally did it. He finally won his Oscar for his role in the The Revenant and social media exploded as the joke that had been ongoing for years died. DiCaprio used his long overdue moment to address climate change and to tell America that it’s not doing a good enough job acknowledging it. He also made the final “Leo has never won an Oscar” joke while getting his Oscar engraved.

All in all, the 88th Academy Awards were filled with controversy, important conversations and justice. It’ll be interesting to see if next year they address the issue of race and if Leo and Lady Gaga are able to really spark conversation within our society.