NO acceptance speech in the long history of the Academy Awards has been more profound, or important, than Frances McDormand’s call-to-arms after being named best actress at the 90th Oscars.
By using this unique platform to urge all female nominees to stand up and be counted, and then ending her strident speech with the words ‘inclusion rider’, she was urging big money stars to use their influence to ensure film crews are more diverse in future.
Never again should women suffer the indignity and violation perpetuated by disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein and others. And nor should talented actors, actresses and production staff from ethnic minority backgrounds be discriminated against.
Yet, while this speech will, hopefully, be remembered as the finest hour in the event’s rich history, the most heartfelt words came from Gary Oldman who was named best actor for his gritty portrayal of Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour. He stole the show with his quick quip urging his 98-year-old mother, who is older than the actual awards, to “put the kettle on – I’m bringing Oscar home”. Let’s hope it’s a very special brew of Yorkshire Tea.