Why EEAAO’s Success Shows the Oscars Are Still Long Overdue for Comprehensive Change

Despite a historic night, the Academy continues to overlook marginalized talent at an alarming rate.

Robin A Henderson
7 min readApr 3

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The marketing poster for the film Everything Everywhere All at Once featuring lead actress Michelle Yeoh.
Image: A24

Fans of A24’s breakout hit were abuzz with anticipation.

On Hollywood’s biggest night, Daniel Kwan’s and Daniel Scheinert’s cultural touchstone film Everything Everywhere All at Once (EEAAO) took home seven wins. This victory made it the most awarded Best Picture since Slumdog Millionaire fourteen years ago.

Furthermore, the Daniels’ mind-melding multiverse masterpiece won Best Picture, the evening’s top prize.

And it almost pulled off a full sweep in the acting categories, too, with Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Ke Huy Quan earning Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.

Besides The Daniels’ EEAAO wins, S. S. Rajamouli’s RRR became the first feature from India to win an Oscar for Best Original Song with the smash hit “Naatu Naatu,” clocking in over 130 million YouTube views.

Kartiki Gonsalves’ The Elephant Whisperers, in which a South Indian couple devotes their lives to caring for an orphaned elephant, won Best Documentary Short Film.

South Asian fans exulted in Hollywood’s remarkable evening that finally acknowledged their cinematic contributions.

The evening was a momentous occasion for Asian representation on the silver screen.

While we laud the achievements of EEAAO, RRR, and The Elephant Whisperers, we must take a step back and view their success in a larger context.

Are these record-breaking wins a sign of the Academy’s progress, or are they just another isolated, honorary gesture from an organization known for its biases and lack of awareness?

The Academy’s Storied History of Exclusion

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Robin A Henderson

I write about inclusive storytelling in Hollywood and diverse representation in wellness.