The award seasons is currently upon us. And undoubtedly the Academy Awards which took place last Sunday was the most awaited celebration for Hollywood as well as for the viewers watching at home. If there is something that makes the Oscars more remarkable than any other award show, it is the speeches. Apart from the win, it’s the speeches from these celebrities which leave the audiences around the world inspired and awestruck. This year, Frances McDormand won the Academy Award for Best Actress and left us speechless as she asked all the female nominees in the audience to stand. “Look around, everybody,” she said, “because we all have stories to tell and projects we need financed.” Then she left the stage with two words, “Inclusion Rider”, which made all viewers around the globe rush to the internet for a quick Google search.
Inclusion Rider in simple language means ‘a stipulation that actors and actresses can ask (or demand) to have inserted into their contracts, which would require a certain level of diversity among a film’s cast and crew.’ She has definitely taken a step towards the much-needed representation of minorities the film industry is just slowly inching towards.
This was not the first time that the winner left the stage with such a strong message. Whether it’s Leonardo DiCaprio speech about saving the planet and bringing everyone’s attention towards the climate change in the 88th Academy Awards or its Patricia Arquette speech about wage equality in 2015, they all have left the public spellbound and with more admiration. Lupita Nyong’O who was recently seen in the movie, “Black Panther” also gave a heartwarming speech when she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 2014. She began her speech by thanking the women she had portrayed and acknowledging her long-time aspirations, the actress further added, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid”. She won the award for her role as ‘Patsey’ in ‘12 Years A Slave’.
The speeches at the Academy Awards have set the trend to disseminate powerful ideas and has tried its best to create awareness among viewers around the world. It would be interesting to see these concepts make their way to Indian cinema. It would be a refreshing change in Bollywood to see an actor or actress taking an initiative towards the things that matter, and it will definitely be a right step towards change.