(Header image found via ABC via Getty Images)
There are more important things than La La Land losing.
Unless you live under a rock, you probably heard about Faye Dunaway (yes, Faye Dunaway, not Warren Beatty) announcing that La La Land won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It later, to the shock of La La Land producers and audiences alike, turned out that Moonlight had won Best Picture and the presenters had the wrong envelope.
This flub brought a lot of attention to the Academy Awards and it will definitely go down in the history of the ceremony. However, this should not be the moment that is most talked about.
Everyone should be talking about Katherine Johnson presenting Best Documentary Feature with the cast of Hidden Figures.
For those of you who might not know, Katherine Johnson is a woman of color who ensured that the Apollo space mission happened due to her mathematical skills. However, since Johnson was a woman of color during an especially segregated time, she did not receive much (if any) recognition for her talents and her assistance to the mission. In fact, most people did not know about Katherine Johnson (a true hidden figure) until the film, Hidden Figures, hit the big screen.
Because of Hidden Figures, audiences are beginning to learn more about women’s involvements in STEM programs and how these women made a difference. Some of these women are also becoming more of an inspiration to younger women and daughters. Katherine Johnson is one such inspiration.
Katherine Johnson presenting an award was more than just a smart PR move. She was greeted to a standing ovation and the joyful smiles of Taraji P. Henson, Janelle Monae and Octavia Spencer. Johnson finally received the recognition she deserved in front of a huge audience. This moment is huge for her. This moment is huge for women pursuing careers in science and math-related fields. And this moment is huge for other historical women of color who are also hidden figures.
The La La Land award controversy may have seen like a snub to the La La Land cast and crew. However, the biggest snub of all time was Katherine Johnson not being the center of applause until last week.