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Why do we love Ariana DeBose? Let us count the reasons…

A post shared by Ariana DeBose (@arianadebose)If there is anyone who embodies celebrating who you are, it’s Ariana DeBose. DeBose made history in March when she became the first openly queer woman of color to win an Academy Award. Upon accepting the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role of Anita in Steven Spielberg’s 2021 remake of West Side Story, she gave a touching speech that truly made our LGBTQ hearts sing:“Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus, look into her eyes: You see a queer, openly queer woman of color, an Afro Latina who found her strength in life through art.” DeBose said, as she held her golden statue.

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’CODA’ bags key prize before Oscars as Spielberg honors Lucas
Hollywood’s producers named “CODA,” a heartwarming indie drama about a deaf family, the year’s best film at their annual gala on March 19 throwing the race for next weekend’s Oscars wide open.“CODA,” which cast deaf actors in several lead roles, follows teenage Ruby, who can hear, as she juggles pursuing her musical ambitions with her family’s dependence on her to communicate.The movie, released by Apple TV+, is now best-placed to vie with Netflix’s Western “The Power of the Dog,” the presumed Academy Award frontrunner.“I have always been drawn to stories that are filled with humanity,” said producer Philippe Rousselet, accepting the award.“And in a world where we see the lack of it every day, I’ll take this tonight -- this award -- as a sign that there’s still hope.”The Producers Guild Awards (PGA), taking place with Oscars voting now under way, have correctly predicted 11 of the past 14 winners of the best picture Academy Award.“Encanto” won the PGA’s best animated film, strengthening its own Oscars bid before voting ends Tuesday.“Summer of Soul,” musician Questlove’s first movie, about the huge “Black Woodstock” festival that took place in 1969 Harlem, racked up another best documentary win.The Academy Awards take place in Hollywood on March 27.“In music, coda means the end of a movement.
#OscarsSoDiverse? Nonwhite, Deaf and LGBTQ Actors Gain Ground in Nominations
last year’s record heights, the highlights include four Black actors being recognized along with LGBTQ and deaf actors, as well as female and Asian filmmakers in the Best Director race. In the Best Actor race, Will Smith is considered a major contender to become only the fifth Black actor to win the award for his performance as Serena and Venus Williams’ father Richard in the inspirational sports film “King Richard.” If he wins, he would join a list that includes the late Sidney Poitier, Jamie Foxx, Forest Whitaker, and Denzel Washington, the latter of whom also earned his ninth acting Oscar nomination this year for “The Tragedy of Macbeth.” The Best Supporting Actress race also sees Smith’s “King Richard” co-star Aunjanue Ellis among the list of contenders, along with Afrolatina star Ariana DeBose for her performance as Anita in Steven Spielberg’s “West Side Story.” DeBose is also an LGBTQ actress, making it the first time ever that more than one openly queer actor has been nominated in a single year as Kristen Stewart, who identifies as bisexual, was nominated for Best Actress for her performance in “Spencer.” To date, only nine Black women have won acting Oscars, with the first being Hattie McDaniel in 1939 for “Gone With The Wind” and Regina King the most recent in 2018 for “If Beale Street Could Talk.” Eight of those winners were for supporting roles, with Halle Berry being the only Black woman to win for a leading role with “Monster’s Ball” in 2001.