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By: Meredith Murphy

The 91st Oscars on Feb. 24 broadcasted a night of laughter, excitement and movies.  The highlights of the night ranged from Queen’s vivacious opening number to Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s awe-inspiring rendition of “Shallow.”

The days leading up to the big night were quite disordered, considering there was no set host after Kevin Hart, the expected showrunner, received a large amount of backlash and decided to drop out. Nevertheless, all those problems were forgotten by the premiere, the show running more smoothly and efficiently than it has in the last six years.

In spite of the shorter run time, this year’s Oscars took a massive stride forward with the inclusion of a more diverse voting body. This addition led to historical wins in many different categories, including a record amount for most wins by minorities. These winners include director Spike Lee for best adaptive screenplay, Regina King for best supporting actress, Ruth Carter for best costume design, Hannah Beachler for best production design, Mahershala Ali for best supporting actor, Peter Ramsey for best animated film and Kevin Willmott for best screenwriter. Beachler made history by being the first black woman to win for best production. As a matter of fact, this night led to a record number of female directors winning for short and documentary films.

This year’s Oscars led to some surprises as well, including the winning of Rami Malek as best actor and “Green Book” for best picture, despite the negative reviews from moviegoers.

The 91st Oscars was a stepping stone to a new and improved model for future years. There was a focus on the awards rather than the jokes and stunts of a host, and the awards extended recognition to a multitude of ethnic individuals. The integration and spotlighted success of a more diverse group both excites me and gives me hope. No matter gender or race, everyone works hard and should be rewarded accordingly. The Oscars isn’t supposed to be a lavish performance. Rather, it highlights the best of the best performers, directors and crew members in the entertainment industry. Finally, the Oscars are going back to its roots.