Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

At The Oscars, 'Everything Everywhere' Wins Nearly Everything Everywhere. Is This A Teachable Moment For Hollywood?

An Asian woman in a white dress holds an Oscar on stage
Michelle Yeoh accepts the Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for "Everything Everywhere All at Once."
(Patrick T. Fallon
AFP via Getty Images)
We need to hear from you.
Today during our spring member drive, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

The big winner at Sunday’s Academy Awards was Everything Everywhere All at Once, a comic drama that plays with the concept of a parallel universe.

And the Oscar ceremony itself mirrored that idea of a separate reality: even if a diverse array of actors and filmmakers took home trophies, the industry itself remains far less inclusive.

Movie studios are not designed to mint awards; their priority is to mint money. But the lesson of Everything Everywhere is that sometimes you can have both, and do so with a cast that’s not dominated by white actors.

The film not only won a leading seven Oscars, including best picture, but also has been one of the biggest art house releases in years. Distributed by the independent studio A24, Everything Everywhere has grossed more than $100 million worldwide. (The Korean drama Parasite, which won the best picture Oscar three years ago, grossed more than $262 million worldwide.)

Support for LAist comes from

Three of last year’s highest-grossing releases won an Academy Award, proof that you can produce a global blockbuster that’s actually well-made. Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever all earned Oscars. Ruth Carter, Black Panther’s costume designer, became the first Black woman to win multiple statuettes.

Other winners were diverse, too. Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman to win the best actress prize for Everything Everywhere; co-star Ke Huy Quan was named best supporting actor, just the second such win for an Asian performer in the category; and the film’s writer-directors Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert won for best director and best original screenplay.

The Mexican-American director Guillermo del Toro collected the animated feature Oscar for Pinocchio; Sarah Polley, one of only two female writers nominated for their scripts, won the best adapted screenplay trophy for Women Talking; and the Indian composer M.M. Keeravaani and musician Chandrabose took the original song prize for their song from RRR. 

The actor James Martin, who has Down Syndrome, starred in the live action short winner An Irish Goodbye (the Oscar audience sang him “Happy Birthday” after he and the film’s makers accepted their trophies).

And yet…Hollywood remains stuck in the past.

The USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative recently released its “Inclusion in the Director’s Chair” report, which found that just 9% of the 100 top-grossing movies released in 2022 were made by women, a nearly 30% drop from the previous year.

A similar study by San Diego State’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film reported that 93% of the top 250 films last year had no female cinematographers, 91% lacked a female composer, 75% didn’t have a female editor, and 70% had no women as writers.

In front of the camera, the numbers are equally grim. A USC study from last year found that people of color — who account for more than 40% of the country — collected less than a third of starring roles, and it was worse for non-white women. Only 11 of 2021’s Top 100 movies featured a woman of color as the lead or co- lead of the story.

So perhaps Hollywood can look to this year’s Oscars not just as a fun night. It could also be a teachable moment.

Support for LAist comes from
What questions do you have about film, TV, music, or arts and entertainment?
John Horn, entertainment reporter and host of our weekly podcast Retake, explores whether the stories that Hollywood tells about itself really reflect what's going on?

Most Read