The Academy Awards always bring a big draw. While this year’s Oscars show did see a viewership drop, it still attracted over 37 million viewers. In addition to bringing internet favorite Neil Patrick Harris as host, the evening made waves for numerous activist pieces. Going into the night, the Academy Awards received criticism for lacking diversity in their nominees, prompting the hashtag. But that wasn’t the only issue of the night. Graham Moore, who won best adapted screenplay for “The Imitation Game,” took the time during his acceptance speech to address depression:
“When I was 16 years old, I tried to kill myself,” he said. “Because I felt weird, and I felt different, and I felt like I did not belong. And now I’m standing here, and I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she’s weird or she’s different or doesn’t fit anywhere. Yes, you do.”
Sharing his story resonated with those online. But he wasn’t the only winner to address issues close to heart. Patricia Arquette used her acceptance speech to address gender inequality, a topic that was hot leading into the night.
“To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights, it’s our time to have wage equality once and for all, and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
Nominee Reese Witherspoon had put the topic in the spotlight leading up to the Oscars with #AskHerMore, a movement encouraging journalists to focus less on what women were wearing and more on their accomplishments. The conversation garnered over 33,000 mentions, with a peak while the stars were on the red carpet.
Overall, the night was a success on social media. Over 3.9 million tweets and 211,000 photos were generated, with a peak between 11 and midnight, notably around the major awards. And the data was on point. We were able to accurately predict Birdman taking top honors, as well as Eddie Redmayne. It seems the social buzz isn’t that far off from what the Academy thinks.