It was a highly anticipated moment at the 90th annual Academy Awards. And it did not disappoint.
Halfway through the third hour of the Oscars Sunday night, Salma Hayek, Ashley Judd and Annabella Sciorra took the stage together. The three women, each of whom came forward last year with their stories about Harvey Weinstein’s abuse, were not there to present an award. They were there to make a statement.
“This year, many spoke their truth and the journey ahead is long, but slowly, a new path has emerged,” Sciorra began, her voice breaking with emotion.
“The changes we are witnessing are being driven by the powerful sound of new voices, of different voices, of our voices, joining together in a mighty chorus that is finally saying ‘Time's Up,’” Judd added.
“So we salute those unstoppable spirits who kicked ass and broke through the biased perception against their gender, their race and ethnicity to tell their stories,” Hayek said.
They presented a video package that included interviews with some of Hollywood’s “trailblazers,” including another Weinstein accuser, Mira Sorvino, who said, “This entire fall, the #MeToo, the Time's Up movements, everyone is getting a voice to express something that has been happening forever, not only in Hollywood, but in every walk of life.”
Three years after #OscarsSoWhite first started trending, clips from 2018 nominees Get Out, Mudbound and Lady Bird were intercut with quotes from Ava Duvernay, Kumail Nanjiani and others talking about the long road to inclusion in the film industry.
“Some of my favorite movies are movies by straight white dudes about straight white dudes,” Nanjiani said. “Now straight white dudes can watch movies starring me and you relate to that. It's not that hard. I've done it my whole life.”
Last year’s Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture winner, Moonlight director Barry Jenkins, said of watching Wonder Woman, “This is what white men feel all the time and all these women are having this experience for the first time.”
“Go make your movie. We need your movie. I need your movie. So go make it,” Greta Gerwig concluded.
Moments later, Jordan Peele was announced as the winner of Best Original Screenplay for Get Out, upsetting frontrunner Martin McDonagh from the far more divisive Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
“I stopped writing this movie about 20 times because I thought it was impossible,” Peele said. “I thought it wasn't going to work. I thought no one would ever make this movie. But I kept coming back to it because I knew if someone let me make this movie, that people would hear it and people would see it. So, I want to dedicate this to all the people who raised my voice and let me make this movie.”