The 89th Annual Academy Awards was probably the most talked about event of the year so far (besides Remy Ma vs. Nicki Minaj).
The American people gathered around their televisions, phones and computers to escape some of the intense drama happening in our nation. People watched the Oscars this year, following last year’s #OscarsSoWhite controversy, in hopes to experience something new, something groundbreaking and something profound.
With all of the internal changes the Academy has made (including inviting a record number of new participants and extending offers to 683 film industry professionals from 59 countries. Forty-six percent of invitees were female, while 41 percent were people of color) it’s slowly but surely starting to reflect in the big show.
Check out some of the ways the 2017 Academy Awards made history.
1. Viola Davis Finally Wins An Oscar
Viola Davis made history on Sunday as the first African American ever to win an Oscar, an Emmy, and a Tony in a competitive acting category. She won a Tony for the same Fences role in 2010.
2. Most Black Wins Ever
Just off the heels of the #OscarSoWhite controversy, it was a major moment to not only see Mahershala Ali and Viola Davis take home the gold. But Moonlight director Barry Jenkins and the film itself took home the major awards for Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. Also, O.J.: Made in America producer Ezra Edelman also went home with the award for Best Documentary.
3. Mahershala Ali’s Becomes First Muslim Oscar Winner
Mahershala Ali had the kind of year that every actor dreams about. Not only was he featured in two of the biggest films of 2016, but he got to take home his first Oscar, and become the first Muslim to win an Academy Award — ever!
4. Black Supporting Actor/Actress Winners
Viola Davis’ Best Supporting Actress win and Mahershala Ali’s win for Best Supporting Actor made it the first time since 2007 that more than one black actor won in an acting category. That year, Forest Whitaker won for best actor and Jennifer Hudson for best supporting actress.
5. Damien Chazelle Becomes The Youngest Person Ever To Win Best Director
Age barriers were also broken at this year’s Academy Awards. La La Land Director Damien Chazelle became the youngest person ever to win Best Director at just 32 years old.
6. Amazon and Netflix Each Scored Their First Academy Award
“The White Helmets” nabbed Netflix its first ever Oscar win, while Amazon picked up wins in two major categories: The Iranian film The Salesman” won for Best Foreign Film, and Manchester by the Sea won Best Original Screenplay.