The article focuses on this year’s award season, highlighting moments that showcased how diverse the entertainment industry really is. This piece is the first penned by The Switch’s newest contributor, Savannah Mumby.
This year’s Oscars were one for the books, as many of us know. And no, we’re not talking about what happened with Will Smith and Chris Rock. This year there were some groundbreaking wins and a showcase of diversity.
Starting, Troy Kotsur won the best supporting actor award for his role in the award-winning film Coda. Making him the second deaf person to win an Oscar, the last one won 35 years ago, and the first deaf man to ever win an Oscar. This has paved the way for other deaf actors and has allowed the ASL community to feel heard as there was more inclusivity at the show, including more sign language translators.
Another monumental win from the Oscars was to Encanto producer Yvett Merino. Wining the best producer made her the first Latina producer to win an Oscar. A massive achievement for the Latinx community, coupled with Ariana Debose’s win for best supporting actress for her role in West Side Story. DeBose also shattered glass by being the first openly queer Aftro-Latina to win an Oscar!
Following the Oscars weekend, we had the Grammys. The extravagant performances, excellent hosting, and the wide array of artists showcased from various genres and backgrounds were amazing to see.
As well, the winners were like no other! The Album of the Year went to Jon Batiste, a Black R&B Soul artist. As well, Philipina pop artist Olivia Rodrigo won best new artist. However, the winners weren’t the only showcases of diversity at the event. This year, the Sound Academy had Lil Nas X, an openly gay and Black pop artist, perform, and showcased international talents like K-Pop group BTS and Latin artist J. Balvin.
The Juno Awards are a Canadian staple for the entertainment industry. This year the show was hosted by Marvel’s ShangChi star Simu Liu who is the 5th person of colour to ever host the Junos. He, alongside other co-hosts, showcased a wide variety of talents.
Figure 9 – Simu Liu
The diversity highlight for the Junos this year is the inclusion of Indigenous talent categories. This year the award’s changed their categories to feature traditional and contemporary winners, allowing more Indigenous artists the chance to win, and giving everyone a fair shot in their respective styles. Another highlight was Susan Aglukark winning the Humanitarian Award, who gave a heartwarming speech about her gratitude for the Canadian music industry.
Figure 10 – Susan Aglukark
This year’s award shows have highlighted so many unique talents and have thanks to so many genres, industries, and people! We must recognize all marginal groups in the entertainment industry because it wouldn’t be the same!