Diversity was undoubtedly the theme of this year’s Academy Awards, despite – or, more likely, due to – the dearth of nominees of colour. Journalism drama Spotlight was named Best Picture, while The Revenant won three Oscars including a Best Actor gong for Leonardo DiCaprio. But last night’s ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles will be best remembered for its focus on race in Hollywood, and in particular for its host Chris Rock’s pointed opening monologue.
Race is very much on my mind at the moment. I am visiting the US and, as a black British academic, my attention is drawn to daily news reports about racism and suffering at the hands of the police, even for minor infractions such as parking ticket violation and speeding.