Alejandro Inarritu and Leonardo DiCaprio were amongst those who paved the way at the Oscars

Alejandro Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio

Life is full of challenges, but trailblazers step up to tackle difficult subjects head-on. While Oscar-watchers around the world continue to debate whether they loved the February 28 show or hated it, we’ve notched this one up as an evening that paved the path and shone a spotlight on many issues of significance. With the #OscarsSoWhite controversy hogging up so much of the dialogue, we were happy to see subjects like diversity and equality take centre stage on Hollywood’s big night. We were happier still to note that it wasn’t just the conundrum of colour that found a voice.

From Lady GaGa’s emotional tribute to sexual assault victims to Leonardo DiCaprio’s plea to recognise climate change as “the most urgent threat facing our entire species,” a variety of causes were espoused with élan all night. Sam Smith spoke up for the LGBT community (though his facts were shaky, his heart was certainly in the right place) and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy championed women’s rights, while Alejandro Iñárritu addressed prejudice in his Oscar acceptance speech. In fact, as he walked away with the Academy Award for Best Director for ‘The Revenant,’ it was Iñárritu whose words struck a chord that will long reverberate with us. “What a great opportunity for our generation,” the Mexican filmmaker opined, “to really liberate ourselves from all prejudice and… make sure, for once and forever, that the colour of skin becomes as irrelevant as the length of our hair.” Into that heaven of freedom, we hope, this planet will soon awake.

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