The History-Making Moments You Might Have Missed at the Oscars

From Chloé Zhao to Emerald Fennell.

2021 is the Oscars' most diverse year ever, with people of color receiving the highest number of Oscar nominations ever at the annual awards ceremony.

For starters, Steven Yeun became the first-ever East Asian American actor nominated for best actor, and director Chloé Zhao became the first woman of Asian descent to be nominated for Best Director. Not only that, this year marks the first time two women have been nominated for Best Director (Zhao and Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell).

As such, this year's Oscars promises a few history-making moments. Ahead, we break down all the historic firsts at the 2021 ceremony.

Yuh-Jung Youn Is the First Korean Woman to Win Best Supporting Actress

The Minari star became the first Korean actress in Oscars history to win Best Supporting Actress — and delivered perhaps the most delightful speech of the night.

Chloé Zhao Becomes the First Woman of Color to Win Best Director

The Nomadland director is the first woman of color and the second woman ever to win an Oscar for Best Director (Katheryn Bigelow was the first). Zhao was also the first woman to get four Oscar nominations in a single year, in the Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Director and Best Picture categories.

Ann Roth Becomes the Oldest Woman to Win an Oscar

At the age of 89, Ann Roth, costume designer for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, became the oldest woman to win an Oscar. Roth took home the prize for Best Achievement in Costume Design for the Netflix film.

Jamika Wilson and Mia Neal Become the First Black Women to Win Oscar for Hair and Makeup

Wilson and Neal won the award alongside Sergio Lopez-Rivera for their work in Ma Rainey's Black Bottom.

"I want to say thank you to our ancestors who put the work in, were denied, but never gave up," Neal said in a speech. "And I also stand here as Jamika and I break this glass ceiling with so much excitement for the future. Because I can picture Black trans women standing up here and Asian sisters and our Latina sisters and Indigenous women, and I know that one day it won't be unusual or groundbreaking; it will just be normal."

Emerald Fennell Is the First Woman to Win a Screenplay Oscar in 13 Years

The Promising Young Woman screenwriter and director won Best Original Screenplay, the first time a woman has won that award since Diablo Cody took it home in 2008 for Juno.

Related Articles