The Oscars are advertised by activists who have just noticed something important.
The Oscars this year were different for a lot of reasons – and one of them is a legitimate legal issue.
It has nothing to do with the safety of COVID-19, regulations on live broadcasts, or wild celebrity prey moments. The unexpected controversy relates to the Oscars stage.
For maybe MORE THAN 30 YEARS, the stage used at the Oscars may have been illegal. How can a stage be illegal? Let some of this year’s Oscar nominees break it down.
The Oscars were literally ramping up
Thanks to ‘Crip Camp’ being nominated for Best Documentary, the Academy Awards just welcomed the first nominees to use wheelchairs. This meant the 2021 Oscars took accessibility into account when putting together their star-studded venue.
As Andraea LaVant, producer of ‘Crip Camp’ explains on her IG, accessibility concerns immediately crossed her mind when she was nominated.
“‘Okay, but how am I supposed to participate?'” She recalls. “Between Covid and the fact that I never saw much accessibility at awards shows, I wasn’t sure how this would all work.”
The new ramps were a big deal. As Andraea puts it, “Seeing ramps throughout the venue (including the theater) … was more than I could have imagined.”
Activists say keep your applause
The ramps were given lots of pats on the back for The Oscars. Yahoo! News called it a “key moment for the disability movement,” and Human Rights Watch said it was a big part of the “inclusion revolution.”
While a more accessible stage is good and necessary, the creators of ‘Crip Camp’ are quick to remind us that the Oscars really should have been accessible since at least the ’90s.
Judy Heumann is a disability rights activist in the “Crip Camp” and says she is “really tired of being grateful for ramps! “
Judy and Company fought to make America more accessible – and they won that fight. This is what ‘Crip Camp’ is all about! When the White House passed its bill, spaces like the Oscars were made legal to improve their accessibility game.
Here’s the full version of Netflix, with clips from ‘Crip Camp’ and Judy herself:
Technically, legal action could have been taken against The Oscars because the ramp standards have NOT been adhered to so far. At the very least, activists agree that this is a step (or role) towards better overall inclusion.
“While I am fully aware that more needs to be done to ensure full access for all,” Andraea LaVant writes of IG, “these were certainly steps in the right direction.”
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About the author
(260 articles published)
Laurel Walsh is a writer and graphic designer based in the UK. Like everyone else at the moment, one of her hobbies is ordering takeaway everyday and taking the same little walk.
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