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It’s apparent from the social media explosion and media backlash following this year’s Academy Awards on Sunday night that one moment in particular will go down in Oscars history. What the shocking incident really means for the film industry goes beyond the re-posted videos and shocked face emojis, though. This time I’m not here to talk about La La Land and the envelope blunder – we’re here to talk about Moonlight.

Moonlight has won the Academy Award for Best Picture. That single sentence needs to be written alone to let it sink in. This film about gay African-American men has won an Oscar, arguably THE Oscar, and that is simply unprecedented.

Moonlight is a movie that isn’t just about realistic, loving LGBT relationships, although by saying that I don’t mean to downplay the importance of that representation. What makes it even more special is the fact that the gay characters are African-American. The movie deals with the very idea of what it means to be an African-American man in America, and challenges the social expectations of masculinity. It is an essential movie to be made in 2017, and it thoroughly deserves its win, and although many doubted its chances, Hollywood has actually surprised us.

As well as the film winning Best Picture, this year’s Oscars marks another history making award – Mahershala Ali winning Best Supporting Actor for his role in Moonlight, making him the first Muslim actor ever to do so. Nobody can deny Hollywood’s diversity issues, but these two awards, along with Viola Davis’ Best Supporting Actress win for Fences, indicates a possible change in the future of the film industry, one that I look forward to with an open mind and an excited heart.


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