If you watched the Academy Awards this year, you may have realized that everyone wanted to make a statement. Whether it be regarding sexual assault, global warming or race, everyone got their two cents in.
What was successful and what went terribly wrong?
#OscarsSoWhite started the conversation about the race in the awards show far before the Oscars started. The conversation of race has been rapid due to recent campaigns like Black Lives Matter. Instead of #OscarsSoWhite turning into an effective conversation, Chris Rock, the host for the night, decided to pin the jokes on certain celebrities. An opportunity for a public relations campaign to start a much-needed conversation and address the elephant in the room turned into the butt of the joke for the whole evening — not successful.
Here is more information on the controversy.
On a brighter note, Leonardo Dicaprio FINALLY won his first Oscar after countless nominations. When he stepped up the make the long-awaited acceptance speech, he used his time to make light of global warming. Although this was appreciated by most, I personally was disappointed. Everyone who follows the star knows global warming is close to his heart, but it may have just been taken a little too far. I don’t know about you, but I wanted a heartfelt celebration and not to be talked at about yet another issue of the night.
But my favorite moment of the night, and in my opinion the most successful PR move of the night, was Lady Gaga and Vice President Joe Biden’s call to action around the issue of sexual assault — especially in light of Kesha’s denial to make music without her abuser, a music producer on her contract at Sony. With Biden’s powerful message and Lady Gaga’s incredibly inspiring performance, the message couldn’t have been more successfully executed.
The platform was perfect. Gaga performed the Oscar nominated song, ‘Til It Happens to You’ from The Hunting Ground, a movie that addresses sexual assault on college campuses. Gaga is a survivor of sexual assault herself and the 50 men and women survivors that joined her on stage made for the most impactful moment of the night. The timing also couldn’t have been better — Kesha’s sexual assault case has been taking over the national news and social media platforms the last few weeks. Undeniably and well-deserved, they both received standing ovations for the powerful message and performance.
Joe Biden’s speech can be watched here.
Lady Gaga’s life-changing performance can be seen here.