ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION

Oscars 2016 updates: How #OscarsSoWhite advocates will continue to fight for change, and behind-the-scenes images

At the 88th Academy Awards, "Spotlight," the film about the Boston Globe's investigation into priest abuse, won for best picture. Leonardo DiCaprio, heavily favored to win for lead actor, was not disappointed in his fifth chance to take home an Oscar for acting. His director, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, had just gotten his second directing win in a row for "The Revenant." The film came into the night with the most nominations at 12 and won three.

Overall, "Mad Max: Fury Road" has the most bragging rights, with six statuettes from 10 nods in total.

The major upset of the evening was Sylvester Stallone's loss to Mark Rylance of "Bridge of Spies" for supporting actor.

Host Chris Rock kicked off the 2016 Oscars with a highly anticipated monologue amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, taking multiple jabs at Hollywood's culture.

All the Oscars insanity in one red carpet time lapse

Red carpet rewind

Check out the intimate moments on the 2016 Academy Awards red carpet. 

Advocates behind #OscarsSoWhite talk about their plans to keep fighting for change

 (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

When comedian Chris Rock took to the Dolby Theatre stage to start the Oscars telecast Sunday night, the track “Fight the Power” by rap group Public Enemy played in the background. That same song, used by Spike Lee to cap his seminal film “Do the Right Thing,” also played at the end of the show as the credits rolled. Both instances were a reminder, comedic or otherwise, to keep pushing for greater diversity prompted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' mostly white list of nominees for a second year in a row. And fighting the power is what the #OscarsSoWhite movement plans to continue doing.

Here are the ways some proponents of increased diversity believe the conversation can continue now that awards season is over.

April Reign, creator of #OscarsSoWhite:

“I would encourage everybody to be more mindful of the movies on which they spend their hard earned money. If the cast does not look like them, does not represent their stories, perhaps choose not to see their films and instead seek out stories that tell the diversity and the beauty and nuance of all people.”

Gil Robertson, president of the African American Film Critics Assn.:

“I want to see the putting together of a multicultural group of journalists to continue this conversation. It's important that we do that because the way the conversation has been had traditionally is in black and white terms. I think it is important that we encourage our Hispanic and Asian and other brothers and sisters to also be vocal, and to give them room to be vocal. We need to work collaboratively to see results.”

Overheard backstage at the Oscars

 (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Girl Scouts, giggles and little gold men set the tone in the wings of the Dolby Theatre stage at the Oscars, where presenters and performers settled their nerves and celebrated their victories.

How Chris Rock's entrance included a musical shout-out to Spike Lee

Chris Rock addresses the audience as host of the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Rock addresses the audience as host of the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Comedian Chris Rock came out swinging, at least in regard to his music choices. Rock's walk-on song was Public Enemy's "Fight the Power," a song tied to Spike Lee's 1989 film "Do the Right Thing." Many looked to Rock to address the lack of diversity in Hollywood and at the Oscars, and he did so before even saying a word, choosing a song that still feels revolutionary. 

Where was Oscar host Chris Rock's 'Compton' movie theater? Not in Compton

 (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

During a comedy bit on the 88th Academy Awards Sunday night, Chris Rock said he trekked to a Compton movie theater to interview black moviegoers about largely white Oscar contenders.

The resulting segment got big laughs as Rock asked cinema fans if they had seen, or even heard of, movies like "The Big Short," "Brooklyn" and "Bridge of Spies."

But there was one problem with the routine — that theater isn't in Compton. Rock's video, filmed about a week before the ceremony, actually took place in front of the Rave Cinema 15 (formerly Magic Johnson Theatres) at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza.

In fact, as the Los Angeles Times has reported, Compton doesn't even have a movie theater within its city limits, and it hasn't in decades.

10 most popular Oscars Instagram videos contain McDonald's, diamonds and JiffPom

No real surprise here, the most popular Instagram videos to be created on Oscars night include a celebrity puppy, Cate Blanchett and her diamonds, Reese Witherspoon doing shots, and Diddy instructing his followers on how to keep their "glows." 

Let's shine together. 

Oscars joke about Asian American accountants stirs outrage

Oscars host Chris Rock introduces children representing PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants at the 88th Oscars on Sunday. (Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)
Oscars host Chris Rock introduces children representing PricewaterhouseCoopers accountants at the 88th Oscars on Sunday. (Mark Ralston / AFP / Getty Images)

Despite an Academy Awards ceremony focused on addressing issues of diversity in Hollywood, Asian Americans expressed outrage on social media after two jokes that poked at stereotypes. The comments, one by host Chris Rock during a skit and another by comedic actor Sacha Baron Cohen under his Ali G persona, were particularly notable due to the controversy surrounding the #OscarsSoWhite theme.

Rock's skit drew the most ire. In a rehearsed bit involving the tabulation of Academy Awards votes, he introduced the would-be PriceWaterhouseCoopers representatives overseeing the count. “They sent us their most dedicated, accurate and hard-working representatives," he said. "Please welcome Ming Zhu, Bao Ling and David Moskowitz."

Three kids of Asian descent, dressed in suits and carrying briefcases, walked toward center stage. Following a muted response from the crowd, Rock added: "If anybody’s upset about that joke, just tweet about it on your phone that was also made by these kids."

And react they did, many wondering how the gag made it out of the writers room.

Inside Vanity Fair's Oscar party (yes, Ben and Jen were there)

 (Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / AFP/Getty Images)
(Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez / AFP/Getty Images)

Patricia Clarkson, sitting on a couch bleary-eyed at the late hour, seemed amused by the gaggle of tall, pretty girls. Less concerned was "Love" star Gillian Jacobs, who was hanging out with "Game of Thrones" star Emilia Clarke.

Jacobs was more interested in getting some beignets. While waiting for her ride, she grabbed a bag of the Bouchon donuts — guests were given to-go packets upon exiting — and tossed a few in her mouth. And that's how you end an award season right.

Read the full Vanity Fair party recap here. 

How Richard Pryor and Eddie Murphy used the Oscars as a platform for diversity before #OscarsSoWhite

As established over the last few months of #OscarsSoWhite coverage and controversy, Hollywood diversity is an issue that inspires much passion within the entertainment industry and beyond.

But matters of diversity aren’t a trending topic, they’re a conversation that’s been going on for decades. Even in Hollywood. Even at the Oscars.

At the 49th Academy Awards held in 1977, 39 years ago, Richard Pryor (after a seven-minute interpretive song-and-dance number by Ann-Margret) opened the Oscars with a searing monologue that lampooned the lack of African American representation at the awards while a primarily white audience nervously tittered.

In 1988, 11 years after Pryor’s monologue, the academy invited Eddie Murphy, one of the biggest box-office stars of the decade, to award the ceremony’s crown jewel, best picture. But before Murphy got down to business, he went off book and told the story of how he originally wanted to turn down the offer from the academy.

Watch both speeches here. 

Stacey Dash at the Oscars: The joke's on whom?

 (Chris Pizzello / Invision)
(Chris Pizzello / Invision)

For as much was written speculating about what this year’s Chris Rock-hosted Oscars might look like, it’s doubtful many prognosticators predicted an appearance of Black History Month’s sworn enemy Stacey Dash.

Dash, best known for her work in 1995’s “Clueless,” now spends her days as a cultural contributor for Fox News, where she was suspended in December 2015 for using profanity in reference to President Obama while on the air. More recently, Dash stoked the flames of controversy with statements in response to the #OscarsSoWhite controversy that suggested that BET and Black History Month should be done away with in the interest of equality.

So when Dash took the stage at Sunday’s Oscars, under the guise of “director of minority outreach,” the joke didn’t just flail, it sank like a stone.

Diane Warren on losing the Oscar for the eighth time: 'I guess I'm just the perennial loser'

Lady Gaga and Diane Warren, center, during the arrivals at the 88th Academy Awards. They were nominated together for "Til It  Happens to You," from the film "The Hunting Ground." (Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times)
Lady Gaga and Diane Warren, center, during the arrivals at the 88th Academy Awards. They were nominated together for "Til It Happens to You," from the film "The Hunting Ground." (Al Seib/ Los Angeles Times)

I mean, it's my eighth time losing. I didn't think I'd lose this time. I mean, that's the best performance I've ever seen in my life. That's like an Oscar moment of all time. I guess I'm just the perennial loser. I mean, it's like everybody is talking about it. That and Stallone. It's really weird.

Diane Warren, Oscar nominee for original song

How'd Chris Rock do? Critics (mostly) liked his Oscars performance

 (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

One of the most urgent questions going into Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony was just how host Chris Rock would handle the gig, and particularly how he would address the ongoing #OscarsSoWhite controversy. 

Critics generally praised Rock for addressing the issue so directly, even if not all the jokes worked. Here's a look at reactions:

Writing for The Times, television critic Mary McNamara argued that although Rock didn't land every joke, he encouraged a bit of reflection on what is typically a night for the film industry to pat itself on the back. "For all its flaws, Rock's Oscars had some of the most powerful moments seen in the telecast's history. His decision to honestly answer the question 'Is Hollywood racist?' was brave and effective," she said. "If Hollywood believes, as it should, that film is a medium of truth-telling and a catalyst for change, then moments of self-examination should occur at least as often as those of celebration."

New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik noted that having Rock, who was hired before the diversity flap began, emcee the ceremony "was a lucky pairing of host and subject." His performance was "evenhanded without being wishy-washy" and represented "an example of something the industry is still trying to learn: that you can achieve both inclusion and entertainment by giving the right person just the right opportunity."

That being said: What was with the bizarre appearance by Stacey Dash?

Chris Rock doesn't lift ratings for Oscars

Chris Rock during the telecast of the 88th Academy Awards. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)
Chris Rock during the telecast of the 88th Academy Awards. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Anticipation of Chris Rock's no-holds-barred commentary at the 88th Academy Awards ceremony did not boost to the overnight ratings for Sunday's telecast on ABC

Based on Nielsen’s overnight data from 56 large U.S. TV markets, the telecast averaged a 23.4 rating and a 36% share of the homes using television from 8:30 p.m. to 11:51 p.m. EST, when the last commercial break aired.

That's down 6% when compared with the 24.9 rating from the overnight data for 2015.

Three reasons why 'Spotlight' came from behind to take the Oscar for best picture

An honestly earned, unsentimental emotional experience helped "Spotlight" earn the win. (Kerry Hayes / Associated Press)
An honestly earned, unsentimental emotional experience helped "Spotlight" earn the win. (Kerry Hayes / Associated Press)

It was a year of two films. Until it wasn't.

It was the year "Spotlight," the third film on everyone's list of top-three finishers, came from behind and walked off with the best picture trophy.

So what did “Spotlight” have that “The Big Short” did not? Three things:

It not only provided work for a lot of actors, it featured an actor (Tom McCarthy) who also co-wrote and directed. As “Good Will Hunting” proved years ago, actors, a big chunk of academy members, like to see actors branching out.

Yes, it was a hot mess, but Chris Rock's Oscars show was powerful, confounding and possibly revolutionary

The Girl Scout cookie moment: Chris Rock paused his #OscarsSoWhite theme during the Academy Awards telecast for some less-controversial fun — a Girl Scout cookie sale that raised $65,243 for the L.A. troop. (Robert Gauthier)
The Girl Scout cookie moment: Chris Rock paused his #OscarsSoWhite theme during the Academy Awards telecast for some less-controversial fun — a Girl Scout cookie sale that raised $65,243 for the L.A. troop. (Robert Gauthier)

For all its flaws, Rock's Oscars had some of the most powerful moments seen in the telecast's history.

Mary McNamara

The 2016 Oscars telecast was a hot mess, but it certainly wasn't boring.

An event most often criticized for being self-indulgent and self-congratulatory — so over-long, repetitive and predictable that the host is all but required to joke about its absurdity — this year's Academy Awards was a strange compilation of atonal moments in which the audience was kept perpetually off balance. Host Chris Rock called Hollywood out on its racism and then sent his daughters out to sell Girl Scout cookies. The mood whipsawed from the shocking to the familiar and back again, often in the space of a few moments.

The kiss: Cue the Celine Dion music, Leo and Kate are back together for a Titanic embrace

They parted ways on that sinking ship back in 1997, but lately Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet have been back together in an awards season that's gone on and on. After both actors won Golden Globes in January and British Academy Film Awards in mid-February (his as lead actor in "The Revenant," hers as supporting actress in "Steve Jobs"), many fans were hoping for the ultimate "Titanic" recoupling at the Oscars. 

Winslet, however, lost the Oscar to Alicia Vikander ("The Danish Girl"). But when DiCaprio won his Oscar, he found Winslet backstage. They embraced. They kissed. And for one brief moment it was as if Jack and Rose had never drifted apart. 

Whoopi Goldberg's bracelet was also an octopus

 (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times ; Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times ; Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images)

The 88th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre wasn’t without a plethora of standout accessories and sartorial details worth a second look, including the red silk flower of Oscar winner Jared Leto’s festive Gucci ensemble and the feathers of Oscar winner Cate Blanchett’s Armani Privé seafoam green gown. And how could we forget Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg’s bold jewelry? Here’s a look at what style accessories, details and accompanying fashion selections stood out on the red carpet.

Chris Rock was right, this year the Oscars really were a little different

 (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Bringing an end to an unpredictable and tumultuous Oscar race, the newsroom drama “Spotlight” took home the top prize for best picture at the 88th Academy Awards, emerging victorious in what had widely been seen as a three-way race with the brutal frontier epic “The Revenant” and the financial crisis dramedy “The Big Short.”

Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Academy Award — after four previous acting nominations — for his starring role as a man who survives a vicious grizzly bear attack in “The Revenant.” Brie Larson earned the lead actress prize for her performance as a mother who has spent much of her life in captivity in the drama “Room.”

The evening marked the climax of one of the most controversial Oscar seasons in Hollywood history, as a bitter debate over the lack of any acting nominees of color for the second year in a row roiled the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Unlike in many previous years, no single film dominated the night, as academy voters spread their love around to a wide range of contenders.

Oscars after-party quick change: Before and after

The art of the quick change is a Hollywood staple. And many of the Oscars ceremony audience members showcased entirely new looks at the Vanity Fair Oscar party. 

Mindy Kaling traded in her long, blue train for a Salvador Perez original.

 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Kerry Washington switched from a custom Atelier Versace gown to a backless number.

 (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times /  Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times / Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

And Sofia Vergara wore Marchesa to the ceremony but traded that in for something white for the night. 

 (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times / Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)
Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
69°