The most surprising thing about Tuesday’s Oscar nominations might have been how unexpectedly diverse they were. Not only were there several representational firsts, people of color were well-represented in categories across the board. Not to mention fish people! Jimmy Kimmel, Stephen Colbert, and Roy Wood Jr. couldn’t resist a few jokes about the Academy Award nomination leader, The Shape of Water—though Wood Jr.’s took the (fish)cake.
Jimmy Kimmel, the host of the upcoming Academy Awards, gave his audience a preview of some of his Oscars material on Jimmy Kimmel Live. “I cannot wait to see which movie accidentally wins Best Picture,” he joked.
Kimmel listed some of The Shape of Water’s 13 nominations, including “Outstanding Achievement in Fish Penis Design,” before moving on to a subject he will no doubt return to in his Oscars opening monologue. “Finally,” he said, “Hollywood is recognizing a monster other than Harvey Weinstein.”
The two-time Oscar host noted the diversity of the nominations, especially the achievements of Greta Gerwig and Jordan Peele as the fifth woman and fifth black person, respectively, ever nominated for Best Director. The Post director Steven Spielberg—who already has three Oscars at home—was unexpectedly snubbed. “Back to the Kinko’s management training program for him,” Kimmel said.
Stephen Colbert was surprised but thrilled that the 2018 Oscar nominees were so diverse, with plenty of well-deserved nominations for films made by nonwhite people. Like The Shape of Water: “It’s a movie about a woman who has sex with a disgusting fish monster—I’m really impressed somebody already produced the Stormy Daniels story.” And Get Out: “Congratulations, La La Land—I mean Jordan Peele!”
Colbert is worried for Peele though. “Jordan Peele is now going to be invited to a big party thrown by rich white people,” he realized. “I hope he’s seen Get Out.”
But with no major snubs, who is Colbert supposed to be mad at? Where should he direct his “well of award angry?” He could get mad along with whichever group of fans—Gerwig stans or Peele fans—become enraged on Twitter when their Best Director nominee loses. Or he could find his own reason to be mad, such as this: “I’ve decided to be furious that the Lego Ninjago Movie was not nominated for Best Sound Mixing.”
If you too want something to angrily tweet about, you can use Colbert’s new hashtag, #TeamNinjago.
Trevor Noah and Roy Wood Jr.
Trevor Noah—still bitter at the disappointment of the last major awards, the fake “Fake News Awards (“some of us took out ads and got our hair did”)—ceded the stage to Daily Show correspondent and awards season expert Roy Wood Jr.
Wood Jr. ran through the black achievements recognized by the Academy’s new-and-improved, diverse membership. “In the past it was #OscarsSoWhite,” he said. “But this year, it’s #OscarsSoSorry.” Get Out is getting the recognition it deserves, but did you know it was based on a true story? “The true story of a prominent black neurosurgeon trapped inside the Trump administration.” Wood also applauded the work of black actresses, like Octavia Spencer, the first black woman to be nominated two years in a row, and Mary J. Blige, the first person nominated for an acting performance and an original song on the same film. Wood says he knew Blige had it in the bag from the moment he saw Mudbound. “Any time a black woman in a film don’t put on no make-up, you know it’s gonna be some serious acting.”
But Wood doesn’t want us overlooking one of the biggest representational breakthroughs of them all: Recognition for fish people.
They got a fish person—an actual fish person—not in a background role like they normally get. This fish person is the romantic lead and he got to smash. That never happens. Fish people never get to smash …
The Little Mermaid, she got some pipe, but only after she turned into a human. Now, I’m not blaming the Little Mermaid as an actress, back then was a different time in Hollywood, fish people had to take the roles they could get. But this dude in The Shape of Water, yo, he’s openly fish, and still gets the girl.