The 2021 Oscar nominations were heralded as some of the most diverse in the show’s nearly 100-year history, but the ensuing ceremony proved that change is still warranted for the Academy’s notoriously white ranks. The biggest upset of the night was undoubtedly Anthony Hopkins’ victory, for “The Father,” over dearly departed actor, Chadwick Boseman. Boseman was the favorite to win posthumously for his devastatingly remarkable performance as Levee in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.” It was especially disappointing when the event was structured with the Best Actor Award announced last, seeming to indicate Boseman would undoubtedly win (via USA Today).
As the New York Times notes, there were still reasons to celebrate, including Chloe Zhao’s victories for Best Director and Best Picture, for her movie “Nomadland,” which marks the second consecutive Asian win following Bong Joon Ho’s for “Parasite” last year, as well as Daniel Kaluuya and Yuh-Jung Youn’s wins. Elsewhere, Black icon Tyler Perry won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. The List spoke to body language expert Lauren Cohen about his empowering acceptance speech.
Tyler Perry truly believed in his empowering words
As People notes, Tyler Perry was co-honored at the 2021 Oscars alongside the Motion Picture & Television Fund with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Accepting the gong from Viola Davis, the prolific filmmaker spoke at length about how he’d first learned to reject hate and judgment from his mother, opining, “It is my hope that all of us would teach our kids, and I want to remember just refuse hate, don’t hate anybody.” The media mogul explained, “I refuse to hate someone because they are Mexican or because they are Black, LGBTQ. I refuse to hate someone because they are a police officer. I refuse to hate someone because they are Asian.” He added, “I would hope that we would refuse hate.”
As body language expert Lauren Cohen, an executive and career coach, advised, Perry’s onstage stance mirrored his call-to-arms style approach. Choosing to place one foot in front of the other, Perry showed “his commitment, belief and passion in what he is saying.” Cohen added, “His body language and hands are used in a way that he is wanting to be in conversation more than delivering a speech. He is looking to use his hands to engage and bring people in.” Perry is simply “a storyteller having a conversation, not performing.” By “Gripping and using his Oscar at the end to punctuate his points,” the media mogul “communicated strength, success, warmth and goodness” making his words hit that much harder.
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