Advocating for social change has never been more center stage than at this year’s award season. Over the course of two months, fans of the biggest red carpet events in entertainment have watched as stars dressed in black, wore Times Up pins, and delivered speeches that have rallied for representation on screen and opposition to the NRA.
Last night’s Oscars were no different with the help of actress Lupita Nyong’o. Her speech during the awards show celebrated the young immigrants whose futures hinge on the government’s renewal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.
Nyong’ joined actor Kumail Nanjiani on stage to present an award but not before addressing how both had fought the odds to pursue their acting dreams.
— Carina Bergfeldt (@carinabergfeldt) March 5, 2018
Before announcing the nominees for Best Production Design, the Oscar-winning actress and Oscar-nominated actor spoke of an issue deeply woven into their Hollywood success stories.
“Good evening, we are the two actors you keep hearing about, but whose names you have trouble pronouncing,” Nyong’o joked before announcing the nominees for achievement in production design.
“Like everyone in this room and everyone watching at home, we are dreamers,” the Mexican-born Kenyan explained before outlining the country’s basic ethos which abides by a person’s right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. “We grew up dreaming of one day working in the movies. Dreams are the foundation of Hollywood, and dreams are the foundation of America.”
Nanjiani wrapped up their speech by adding “So to all the Dreamers out there, we stand with you.”
So far, Twitter is in agreement that Lupita and her speech were the real winners of the night.
She is the Oscar
— Canadian Bacon (@jaso4455) March 5, 2018
Seriously, the 2019 Oscars better have an award for best social advocate ready.
— AbbyNormal (@fbrodya) March 5, 2018
And they better be ready to hand it over to Lupita, because…
She did not come to play.
Thank @LupitaNy'ongo nurture the young talents and support them
— Juma Immanuel (SIMBA) (@Jumakenya2) March 5, 2018
Nyong’os speech which never directly pressed the political issue of immigration directly, was a reminder that a person’s ability to pursue their dreams and livelihood should not be considered a partisan issue. She, alongside a lineup of influential Latinas who also presented, proved that the entertainment industry is heading towards an age where the embrace and celebration of diversity is standard.