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Historic Wins for Underrepresented Communities at 95th Academy Awards
The 95th Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles last night, recognizing films released in 2022. With a remarkable year for the film industry, all the nominations were of exceptional quality. This year's ceremony saw several first-time winners and groundbreaking achievements for underrepresented communities.
Ruth E. Carter, a costume designer, made history by becoming the first Black woman to win two Oscars. She won her second Academy Award for her outstanding costume design work on "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever," following her 2019 win for the first "Black Panther" film. During her acceptance speech, Carter expressed gratitude to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for acknowledging a Black female superhero.
"She endures, she loves, she overcomes," said Carter. “She is every woman in this film. She is my mother."
Michelle Yeoh also made history by winning the Academy Award for Best Actress. The Malaysian-born actor achieved the significant milestone of becoming the first Asian woman to win the award on Sunday night, for her exceptional and versatile portrayal in the film, "Everything Everywhere All at Once."
Yeoh was the first Asian woman to be nominated in this category, highlighting the lack of representation in the past. However, it's worth noting that Merle Oberon, who was nominated for "The Dark Angel" in 1935, hid her South Asian heritage, as recorded in her birth records. Yeoh expressed her happiness and recognition of the historic moment during her interaction with the press in the media room.
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“For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibility. This is proof that dreams dream big and dreams do come true," she said. "And ladies, don't let anyone ever tell you you're past your prime.”
Ke Huy Quan had taken a break from acting for two decades due to a lack of meaningful opportunities for Asian performers. However, his return to the industry in the 2022 film "Everything Everywhere All at Once" proved to be a significant milestone for him. Quan made history by becoming the first Asian man in 38 years to win the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor since Haing S Ngor's win for "The Killing Fields" in 1985. Quan's portrayal of Waymond Wang, the loving and amiable husband of the main character Evelyn, played by Michelle Yeoh, earned him the prestigious award.
"My mom is 84 years old and she's at home watching. Mom, I just won an Oscar," Quan said, with tears running down his face.