Brow Beat

Tiffany Haddish and Maya Rudolph Reassure America That The Oscars Are Still Pretty White

This year’s Academy Award nominations were heralded as the most diverse in history, with an unprecedented percentage of nonwhite nominees as well as a number of historic firsts, it seemed as if the #OscarsSoWhite campaign had finally forced the Academy to reckon with its overabundance of whiteness. So when two black women, Maya Rudolph and Tiffany Haddish (or Hatton, according to the “everyday” announcer from the cringeworthy “thank the audience” bit preceding them), came on stage to present the awards for Documentary Short and Live Action Short, they guessed what some people might be thinking: “Are the Oscars too black now?”

Haddish and Rudolph, who came out barefoot and clutching their heels—truly a match made in funny women award presenter heaven—were ready to reassure anyone who might be wondering whether #OscarsTooBlack that the 2018 Oscars are still very, very white.

“Don’t worry,” said Rudolph. “There are so many more white people to come tonight.”

“So many,” added Haddish. “We just came from backstage and there are tons of them back there. Not just the stars—there are white people walking around with headsets, white people with clipboards.”

Haddish is not a fan of white people with clipboards (honestly, who is?) because she’s always wondering, “What are they writing down about me?” Nor, for that matter, is Rudolph—sometimes they say she’s not on the list without even checking all the pages.

The Oscars, and Hollywood in general, are still far from representative, and still overwhelmingly white, making their bit a perfect send-up of anyone who might think the industry’s problems are solved (or even overcorrected) because of the brilliant artists being rightfully recognized in this year’s awards.

There are however two white things that Tiffany Haddish has time for. One is her Alexander McQueen Girls Trip premiere dress, which—true to her word—she wore for a third time at the Academy Awards.

The other is Meryl Streep, sitting in the front row and nominated for a history-making 21st time. “Hi Meryl,” Haddish said to Streep from the stage. “I want you to be my mother someday.”

Tiffany Streep. Now that’s got a nice ring to it.

Read more in Slate about the 2018 Oscars.

Rachel Withers is a Slate Brow Beat assistant.