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Da’Vine Joy Randolph & Cord Jefferson Win At The 96th Academy Awards

96th Oscars, Academy Awards
Jamie Lee Curtis, Mary Steenburgen, Lupita Nyong’o, Rita Moreno, Regina King presents the Oscar® for Actress in a Supporting Role during the live ABC telecast of the 96th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 10, 2024.

Jimmy Kimmel returned as the host of the 96th Academy Awards. He kept the audience engaged from his light-hearted jokes to some jokes right on the nose. Poked fun at actor Robert Downey Jr. for his past substance abuse. Called out “Barbie” director Greta Gerwig not being nominated for Best Director. And as the audience cheered he called them out again. “I know you’re clapping but you’re the ones that didn’t vote for her”, said Kimmel. 

Kimmel’s opening monologue indicated how entertaining the Oscars would be this year. The award show switched things up with how they presented the awards for Best and Supporting Actors and Actress. In past shows the winner from the previous year would present the award. This year the show brought out five past winners to acknowledge each nominee in the category.

Regina King was one of the presenters praising first-time nominee Danielle Brooks. Lupita Nyong’o gave a touching speech to Da’ Vine Joy Randolph, another first-time nominee. Emotions were already running high by the way this category was presented. It was so personal and sentimental. When Randoplh’s name was called as the winner many had tears in their eyes. During her acceptance speech, she spoke about wanting to be different and realizing she only needed to be herself.

96th Oscars, Academy Awards- Da'Vine Joy Randolph
Da’Vine Joy Randolph accepts the Oscar® for Actress in a Supporting Role during the live ABC telecast of the 96th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 10, 2024.

She went into more detail during the backstage press conference. “I knew I was always different. And so, therefore, I thought maybe I needed to conform to something else because when I looked at the show for many years as I was growing up, I didn’t necessarily see myself there; yet, that was the model of success. So I was on this journey of trying to figure out how I could mold myself to that because I thought that’s what success would mean. And what I have begun to find in my journey is that in being myself and doing the work and staying focused and driven and clear, I could do exactly the same thing whilst being myself,” said Randolph. 

This year two of the biggest movies were “Barbie” and “Oppenheimer.” Even though “Oppenheimer” was the big winner of the 96th Academy Awards. It didn’t take all of the awards as we see with Randolp’s win for her role in “The Holdovers.”

The critically acclaimed “American Fiction” also won last night taking home the Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay by Cord Jefferson. “American Fiction” was the story of a Black author who was struggling with his latest book. The novel didn’t get the attention he felt it deserved but noticed a fellow author being praised for her book which focused heavily on Black stereotypes.

96th Oscars, Academy Awards- Cord Jefferson
Cord Jefferson accepts the Oscar® for Adapted Screenplay during the live ABC telecast of the 96th Oscars® at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 10, 2024.

When Monk, played by Jeffery Wright, reluctantly follows suit he is met with that same praise. “American Fiction” was a story within a story, a well-written and creative screenplay. Jefferson was very deserving of this award.

“Hopefully the lesson here and kind of what I tried to convey in my speech is that there’s an audience for things that are different. There is an appetite for things that are different. And, you know, a story with black characters that’s going to appeal to a lot of people doesn’t need to take place on a plantation, doesn’t need to take place in the projects, doesn’t need to have drug dealers in it, doesn’t need to have gang members in it. But there’s an audience for different depictions of people’s lives, and that there is a market for depictions of black life that are as broad and as deep as any other depictions of people’s lives,” said Jefferson about why it was important to be recognized for a film that called out the over-hype of Black stereotypical characters in the film.

To watch the rebroadcast of the 96th Academy Awards go to ABC.com

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