- Janelle Monáe opened the 2020 Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
- The singer called attention to films, many by female directors, including “Us,” “Dolemite Is My Name,” “Little Women,” and “Queen and Slim.”
- Dancers behind her on stage were dressed in costumes for the films.
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Janelle Monáe opened the 2020 Oscars with a performance that seemingly called out the multiple big snubs at this year’s 92nd Academy Awards.
“Hello neighbours!” Monáe sang as she kicked off her performance. “Tonight, we celebrate the art of storytelling along with the misfits, the outcasts, the misunderstood. Those voices who are long deprived.”
Monáe opened her Oscars performance channeling Mr. Rogers in “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.”
Though Tom Hanks is nominated for best supporting actor in the film, female director Marielle Heller wasn’t recognised for her work on the film. Hanks and his wife, Rita Wilson, were big fans of the homage as Monáe gave Hanks her bowler hat.
The background dancers behind Monáe called attention to some movies that were snubbed by wearing costumes from Melina Matsoukas’ “Queen and Slim,” Greta Gerwig’s “Little Women,” “Hustlers,” “Dolemite Is My Name,” “Us,” “Midsommar,” and more.
“The lovers on the run and the queens and the slims,” sang Monáe addressing the films that were represented behind her. “The hustlers with the guns and the little women. The dolemites, the parasites, it’s time to shine. It’s time to come alive because the Oscars is so white.”
“Tonight we celebrate all of the amazing talent in this room. We celebrate all of the women who directed phenomenal films,” Monáe stopped to say in the middle of her performance. “And I’m so proud to stand here as a black, queer artist telling stories. Happy Black History month.”
No female directors were nominated for this year’s Oscars despite there being plenty of big films from women, including “Little Women,” and “A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood.”
Monáe, herself, stepped out in a dress similar to the one Florence Pugh wore in “Midsommar.”
Monáe isn’t the only one calling out the lack of women recognised at this year’s Oscars. Natalie Portman stepped out on the red carpet wearing a cape embroidered with the names of female directors who were snubbed from this year’s awards show.
Gerwig, Melina Matsoukas (“Queen & Slim”), Kasi Lemmons (“Harriet”), Lorene Scafaria (“Hustlers”), and Alma Har’el (“Honey Boy”) are all among the women who weren’t nominated at the 2020 Oscars.
You can watch the full performance below.