As Sarah just wrote in the previous post, there is a lot of work that has to be done in the days and months ahead to fix the Oscars – and this was the case even before last night after all the controversy about the eight categories that were cut from the live broadcast and the ongoing ratings decline and the Academy and the show producers trying to figure out ways to better engage and retain the audience. Here’s the thing though, are Twitter polls and TikToks really the answer? Because some of the best moments from the 2022 Oscars didn’t come from social media, they weren’t desperate stunts, they weren’t designed with the express intent to attract young eyeballs but that ended up happening anyway…the old-fashioned way: real people showing real emotion and telling real stories. Imagine that.
But then again, achieving this is actually bigger than the Oscars – it has to do with the entire industry opening itself up to more artists and creatives who can give audiences perspectives that haven’t been given space in Hollywood. That applies to CODA, Troy Kotsur, and also Youn Yuh-jung, who returned to the Oscars this year after winning Best Supporting Actress this year to present him with his award. And she came prepared. She learned how to sign his name so that if she was indeed going to be part of his historic moment, it could be as complete of an experience as possible.
It gets better.— Goodable (@Goodable) March 28, 2022
Youn Yuh-jung learnt to sign Troy Kotsurâ€™s name so she could sign it to announce his win.
Then, the whole audience signed their applause.
And then she held on to his Oscar for him so he could sign his acceptance speech.
You will note, she stayed in frame, even though it’s customary for presenters to back off so that the winners have the spotlight. But since she was holding Troy’s Oscar, she didn’t want to back off because she wanted his award to be close to him – and that was indeed the right call because he referred to it near the end of his speech, pointing to the trophy, right there, right beside him, when he dedicated it to the deaf community.
THESE are the moments that make the Oscars. This wonderful actor on stage, making people laugh, communicating in the universal language of acceptance and respect, and the audience erupting in silent applause for every CODA win which includes Troy, and Sian Heder, and BEST PICTURE! Which means the film went THREE for THREE. And Sarah was right when she told us to watch out for that Best Adapted Screenplay category – which broke for CODA and the rest is history. Literal history, on multiple fronts. Three times the silent applause. Three times the show was at its best.
It’s beautiful. Also? It’s just GREAT TV. And it’s what’s worth saving about the Oscars.