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 Oscars. After 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.
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.
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.
“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
— Jeannette Kaplun (@JeannetteKaplun) February 29, 2016