Facing criticism of a lack of diversity in nominees, LGBTQ talent shine as Janelle Monáe opens 2020 Academy Awards

The 92nd Academy Awards, hostless for the second year in a row, made up for its lack of diversity in leading nominees by showcasing diversity and inclusion throughout the broadcast. 

The show opened with a musical medley from none other than Janelle Monáe who opened the show with an impersonation of Mr. Rogers, an homage to the nominated A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, before throwing to Billy Porter who paid homage to Elton John and Rocketman with a rendition of “I’m Still Standing.” 

“I’m so proud to stand here as a Black queer artist telling stories,” Monáe said during the middle of her musical interlude, injecting undeniable LGBTQ presence to the broadcast from its opening notes. She then wished the audience a “Happy Black History Month.”

It was a big night for international film when an early win came for South Korea's Parasite, with Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin Won winning for their Original Screenplay. New Zealander Taika Waititi, a self-described Polynesian Jewish writer/director/actor of half Māori and a quarter Russian and a quarter Irish descent won for his Adapted Screenplay for Jojo Rabbit
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Later on, in the biggest upsets of the night, Ho won for Best Director, one of the most competitive categories this year in which Sam Mendes, Martin Scorsese, and Quentin Tarantino were all heavily favored. That was a foreshadow of the night's biggest prize, Best Picture, which also went to Parasite.

Midway through the broadcast, Elton John performed his nominated song from Rocketman, “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again.” which went on to win Best Original Song. Elton thanked his husband David Furnish from the stage, saying, “David, I love you so much.” 

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After Brad Pitt won Best Supporting Actor, out actress Beanie Feldstein took to the stage to introduce Mindy Kaling, who then introduced the Animated Films category. 

Early in the night, Hair Love, won for Animated Short, showcasing the important place of Black hair as a part of Black culture. Toy Story 4 won for Best Animated Feature; the film was protested by One Million Moms (which is actually one meddling mom), for a short scene where two moms drop their daughter off at school. Yet another unsuccessful attempted boycott from an organization whose bark is much worse than its bite. 

In other moments that showcased diversity and inclusion, during her performance of the Oscar-nominated “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2, Idina Menzel was joined by a multicultural group of voiceover artists who portrayed the character of Elsa in countries around the world. Also, American Factory, a documentary co-executive produced by Michele and Barack Obama, which showcases the tensions between high-tech China and working-class Americans at a factory in Ohio, won for Documentary Feature.