88th Academy Awards: Alejandro González Iñárritu Combats Racism & Chile Wins Big

While Chris Rock put The Academy on blast for its failure to diversify nominees – and then some, Latino representers managed to shake sh*t up at the 2016 OscarsAfter Leonardo DiCaprio finally accepted his long-overdue award for his role in The Revenant, making a plea to save the planet and its indigenous peoples, it was Alejandro González Iñárritu who shined brightly with a bold statement of his own.

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González Iñárritu, who made history as the first Mexican director to win the award twice, proudly stood at the podium for Best Director of the Oscar-winning film The Revenant. Ignoring the musical signal from backstage, he went over his time to combat racism amid widespread calls to boycott the Academy Awards.

 “It’s amazing to receive this award tonight, but it’s much more beautiful for me to share it with all the talented and crazy cast and colleagues and crew members along the continent that made this film possible,” he said. “What a great opportunity for our generation to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and this tribal thinking and to make sure for once and forever that the color our skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.”

Iñárritu claimed his fourth Oscar after receiving the prestigious award last year for his 2014 film Birdman. His longtime friend and collaborator, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, achieved his own unforgettable accolade by taking home his third consecutive Academy Award for his work in The Revenant.

Along with Iñárritu and his team, Chilean filmmakers Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala won the award for best animated short film for Bear Story. Not only is it their first Oscar, but it’s also the first Academy Award given to anyone from the South American country.

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“We are from a small country called Chile. This is the first Oscar for our country. So this is very important for us,” Escala said during his acceptance speech. “Thank you all! Un gran abrazo para todos (“A big hug for everyone”). Viva Chile!” –Tony Centeno