On Sunday, March 2 the 86th Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles and aired live on ABC. This year's gathering was hosted by television personality Ellen DeGeneres, most notable for her daytime talk show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Hollywood's gender-bending ways were on full display with an androgynous DeGeneres dressed in a frilly ascotted tux, and The Dallas Buyer's Club, a transgender/AIDS film, garnering awards for best actor and best supporting actor for Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto respectively.
The 86th Academy Awards weren't all Sodom and Gomorrah, however.
The Academy proved to be a partly class act in its in memoriam segment when it memorialized Sarah Jones, a 27-year-old camera assistant who was tragically killed by a train during the filming of the Greg Allman biopic, Midnight Rider, in late February due to (possibly criminal) negligence on the part of her superiors. Her death has caused waves among film crew personnel throughout the industry, who have used the tragedy to highlight safety issues that film personnel often face. Industry workers and their friends across the globe banded together before the Oscars to gather tens of thousands of signatures to lobby the Academy to remember Jones during the show. While the Academy initially signaled that it would not commemorate Jones, it ultimately decided to remember her with a graphic posted on screen after Bette Midler finished singing “Wind Beneath My Wings.” There were also many nominees and some winners who wore a black ribbon pinned to their lapels in remembrance of Jones.
Many also found Matthew McConaughey's acceptance speech, in which he thanked God above all for the opportunities that He has provided McConaughey throughout his life, quite refreshing.
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Photo of Oscar statue: AP Images