Social media erupted Sunday night, calling out the 94th Academy Awards’ showrunners for using what they said was questionable music to introduce presenters of color.
The swanky annual ceremony was managed, however, by black producer Will Packer, who led an all-black producing team — an awards ceremony first.
What are the details?
According to a Monday report from the Hollywood Reporter, the show’s production team caught the ire of the internet after choosing Toto’s “Africa” to introduce black presenters — actor Daniel Kaluuya and musician H.E.R. — to the stage to present the award for Best Supporting Actress.
The internet, of course, rallied and called out the production for the supposed snafu.
One user wrote, “And the Oscar for ‘Absolute Worst Time to Play ‘Africa’ by Toto’ goes to … THE OSCARS.”
Another added that the choice to incorporate more suitable music was a no-brainer.
“Who the hell picked ‘Africa’ as the song for Daniel and H.E.R. walking up, that seems like the easiest choice to not make,” the user said, while another added, “[D]aniel kaluuya and h.e.r. walking out to ‘africa’ is totally not an intentional decision on the producers’ part.”
Another user complained, “Hollywood has mutated into an even worse parody of a bad parody of itself.”
“Maybe don’t play Toto’s ‘Africa’ when you introduce the first two black presenters of the night,” admonished another angry user.
A second offense
Showrunners quickly sparked further anger after cuing Madonna’s “La Isla Bonita” to accompany actress Stephanie Beatriz’s walk on stage to present the award for Best Original Song.
One user wrote, “[P]retty sure them playing ‘La Isla Bonita’ by Madonna to introduce Stephanie Beatriz is a hate crime or an act of white feminist aggression. Idk, it doesn’t sit right with me. Like, just play an actual Latinx song not an appropriated one??!!”
Another expressed incredulity and added, “[S]o far they’ve introduced Daniel Kaluuya and H.E.R. with Toto’s ‘Africa’ and Stephanie Beatriz with ‘La Isla Bonita,’ honestly how the hell is this happening?”
“The Oscars thing that shooked me more last night was that they played La Isla Bonita when they introduced Stephanie Beatriz on stage,” another user admitted.
One hinted at premeditation, and wrote, “[O]k but why were they playing a la isla bonita instrumental when stephanie beatriz walked on…. kinda motivated……”
Another user hit out at the choices amid “great moments for diversity.”
“Still cringing from La Isla Bonita played for Stephanie Beatriz, and Marc Anthony’s Vivir mi Vida for Encanto, following Africa for Daniel Kaluuya and HER walking on stage,” the user wrote. “There were some great moments for diversity, but this seems a real step backwards.”