Wide Side Story Actress Ariana DeBose Won Oscar
Ariana DeBose made history by winning Best Supporting Actress for West Side Story at the 94th Academy Awards. DeBose is the first openly gay woman and the first Afro-Latina to win an Oscar for acting. She came from a dance background and started her career on stage. She is the second actress to receive an Oscar for her performance as Anita in West Side Story, following Rita Moreno in the 1961 film adaptation of the Broadway musical. After praising the West Side Story cast and creative team, DeBose highlighted Moreno in her remarks.
DeBose’s First Oscar Win:
This is her first Academy Award nomination and win. DeBose gained critical acclaim for her performance as Anita in the musical picture.
When DeBose took the stage, she stated softly, “Even in this strange world we live in, dreams do come true.” She also praised her mother, who was in the crowd as her guest. DeBose shared her emotional story as a queer Afro-Latina woman. She ended her speech with words of encouragement for all queer young people of color.
“You see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina who found strength in life through art, and that’s what I believe we’re here to recognize.” “So to everyone who has ever questioned their identity or found themselves living in the gray areas, I assure you this: There is surely a space for us,” Ariana DeBose said.
Rita Moreno Also Won Award For The Same Role In Wide Side Story 1962:
For this role, DeBose has previously received a Golden Globe, a BAFTA, and a Screen Actors Guild Award. Rita Moreno received the same award for the same role in 1962. Moreno played Anita in the original “West Side Story” film and became the first Hispanic actress to win the award for best supporting actress. In the remake, Moreno plays Valentina, the proprietor of a drugstore.
President And CEO Of GLAAD Remarks About Ariana DeBose:
“Ariana DeBose is an enormously brilliant actress and a fantastic advocate for LGBTQ people and people of color,” Sarah Kate Ellis, President & CEO of GLAAD, said in a statement. “Today, she not only became the first lesbian of color to win an Oscar, but she also sent a fantastic and timely message to LGBTQ youngsters. I hope that LGBTQ youth all over the world witnessed her victory, heard her speak, and realized that they, too, should dream big.”
Wide Side Story Had Seven Academy Awards Nominations:
West Side Story, along with The Power of the Dog and Dune, is nominated for seven Academy Awards in 2022, with the film leading the pack. Steven Spielberg was nominated for Best Director, Best Sound, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, and Best Production Design, and Ariana DeBose was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The Academy announced new diversity and inclusion guidelines for Best Picture eligibility less than two years ago. As part of the newly defined criteria, films considered for the category must meet two of the following four standards: onscreen representation, themes, and narratives; creative leadership and project team; industry access and possibilities; and audience development.