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There was certainly a ton of controversy leading up to the 2016 Oscars. With many celebrities, like Jada Pinkett Smith, boycotting the awards show over the lack of diverse nominees, and the emergence of the #oscarssowhite hashtag, tensions ran higher than they have in previous years. However, the show was handled incredibly well, proving to raise awareness not only on racism in Hollywood, but a variety of other issues as well, including sexual violence and global warming. Here are some highlights from last night!

1.     Chris Rock. Chris Rock certainly did not pretend to be unaware of the controversy surrounding this year’s Academy Awards, spending much of the show cracking witty, yet brilliant commentary surrounding the role of race in Hollywood. 

2.     Lady Gaga’s Performance. Lady Gaga’s performance of “Til it Happens to You”, which was first introduced by Joe Biden following his speech on the importance of consent, was probably the most emotional part of last night’s show. Towards the end of her performance, many survivors of sexual assault appeared on stage and showed their forearms, which were covered in words like “survivor” and “not your fault”. This performance was so powerful that it brought tears to many in the audience and sparked the #ItsOnUs hashtag. 

3.     Leonardo DiCaprio’s Win… and His Speech! After five lost Academy Award nominations and just about everyone crossing their fingers in anticipation following the announcement of a sixth, Leonardo DiCaprio finally won his first Oscar last night. Of course, this led to much relief and applause by fans everywhere. But then it got even better: Leo used his acceptance speech as a way to raise awareness about the climate crisis, urging viewers to take action for the sake of our planet’s future! Go Leo!

Overall, it was a fun Oscars night, filled with celebrities, music, emotions, and comedy.

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