Diversity was the hot topic at the Oscars, and here’s what some of the winners had to say on the issue backstage at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday:
“I think that the debate is not only about black and white people. I think diversity really includes brown. I think we are yellow and Native Americans and Latin American. The word is much more than one or the other. I think it’s becoming a little bit very polarized, very politicized, without observing the complexity and beauty of this country being so mixed. That is a real power of it.”
“We are still dragging those prejudices and tribal thinking at this time. It seems absolutely absurd.”
— Alejandro G. Inarritu, winner, best director, for “The Revenant”
“I’m so proud to be working with these guys. It’s what this industry is and what it should be.”
— Leonardo DiCaprio, winner, best lead actor, for “The Revenant,” on the fact that best director Inarritu and best cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, are both from Mexico.
“If you look at the filmmakers, and the winner who just came through here, I think a genre that’s quite diverse is the documentary section.”
“All we can do is do our bit. I’m from an Indian background, my family is Muslim, a working class background in north London, and you know, I didn’t grow up in the film business, I didn’t know anyone in the film business. So, all I can do is do my bit. All I can say to you is to ask those questions to the white people who come up here and not just the brown people.”
— Asif Kapadian, winner, best documentary, for “Amy”
“I should know him. We should date.”
— Sam Smith, winner, best original song, for “Writing’s on the Wall,” upon being told he was mistaken in thinking he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar, including in the category, which was won by Howard Ashman, who died in 1991 from AIDS complications.
“This is what happens when determined women get together.”
“This week, the Pakistani prime minister said he would change the law on honor killing of women. That is the power of film.”
— Sharemeen Obaid-Chinoy, winner, best documentary short, for “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.”
“I thought he was great. I admire him as a big comedian and so happy he came in tonight and brought up both a lot of laughs and a lot of reality issues in the same way. I’m very happy he’s our host tonight.”
— Alicia Vikander, winner, best supporting actress, for “The Danish Girl,” on having Chris Rock as host.