It was a night of upset in Hollywood, as Green Book took home Best Picture–and dashed Netflix’s $30 million bet on scoring a win in the hotly-contested category with Roma.
The Universal buddy drama, starring Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen, overcame stiff competition from superhero movie Black Panther, racially-charged comedy BlacKkKlansman, Queen historyBohemian Rhapsody, off-kilter period drama The Favourite, black-and-white autobiography Roma, musical tragedy A Star Is Born and Dick Cheney biopic Vice.
The film tells the tale of a black concert pianist Don Shirley and his Italian-American driver Tony Vallelonga traveling through the racist deep South. It overcame criticism for its portrayal of Mortensen’s character, Tony Vallelonga, as a white savior. The backlash was furthered by the Shirley family, who claimed it misrepresented the prodigy’s relationship with them.
Green Book was not the only controversial film to emerge triumphant. Bohemian Rhapsody led the awards scoreboard with four statuettes, including Best Actor for Rami Malek, despite a damning investigation by The Atlantic into sexual conduct by its director, Bryan Singer. (Singer has denied the accusations.) Black-and-white Spanish-language film Roma and blockbuster Black Panther were close behind with three apiece.
“I think to anyone struggling with their [identity] and trying to discover their voice, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself,” said Malek, as he accepted his award.
“And the fact that I’m celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we’re longing for stories like this.”
Beyond scandal, it was also an evening of firsts: Auteur Spike Lee landed his first Oscar in his three decade-plus career for race comedy BlacKkKlansman, though he lost out on Best Picture. Lee, who was also snubbed years ago because of Driving Miss Daisy, had a few words to say. “Every time somebody is driving somebody, I lose,” Spike Lee told the press, while sipping champagne backstage.
Superhero smash hit Black Panther won Marvel the studio’s first statuettes ever, nabbing costume design, production design and best original score. And Mahershala Ali became the first Black actor to win two Oscars in the Best Supporting Actor category, following his performance in interracial roadtrip movie Green Book.
The biggest shock of the night, besides Green Book: Best Actress, which was won by Olivia Colman for The Favourite. She beat out Glenn Close (The Wife), who was widely expected to take the category.
“When I used to work as a cleaner–and I loved that job–I did spend quite a lot of my time imagining this,” Colman said onstage.
Critically-acclaimed period comedy The Favourite and Netflix’s autobiographical drama Roma had the most nominations going into the show, with 10 nods apiece.
Oscars 2019: Full List Of Winners:
Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
Olivia Colman, The Favourite
ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
Mahershala Ali, Green Book
“Shallow,” A Star Is Born
DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT
Period. End of Sentence.
MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse
ANIMATED SHORT FILM
LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
-Natalie Robehmed;Forbes Staff
Here’s How Much It Could Cost If We Stop Social Distancing
Topline: This week, President Trump floated the idea of easing up on social distancing measures on the theory that the damage caused by shutting down the economy might be greater than the cost of letting the virus run its course—some models suggest, however, that reopening the economy too soon could be exponentially more expensive.
- If the United States were to abandon aggressive social distancing measures after 14 days, more than 125 million people will contract the virus, some 7 million could be hospitalized, and 1.9 million people will die (accounting for other factors like infectiousness and hospitalization rates), according to a model built by the New York Times.
- If social distancing goes on for two months, the model predicts that 14 million will contract the virus, with fewer than 100,000 deaths.
- There’s no debate that the broader economy is going to suffer even at the current rate of spread. Morgan Stanley is predicting a 30% drop in GDP next quarter. U.S. GDP is currently $21.43 trillion. A drop of 30% would mean a value-loss of more than $6.4 trillion (for context, the economic relief bill signed by President Trump this afternoon is worth about $2 trillion).
- If the outbreak worsens due to relaxed social distancing measures, it’s not unreasonable to anticipate even greater economic losses.
- Economists can calculate the average value of one life saved using a model called the value of a statistical life. It’s a fuzzy metric used by some government agencies that is based on how much a person is willing to pay to reduce the risk of death. Right now, that figure hovers around $10 million.
- “If we could prevent a million deaths, at the usual way we value [them] of around $10 million each, that’s $10 trillion, which is half of GDP,” says James Hammitt, a professor of economics in Harvard’s health policy department.
- University of Chicago economists have arrived at a similar conclusion: they’ve found that under “moderate” social distancing measures, 1.7 million lives and at least $7.9 trillion could be saved.
Big number: The average cost of a hospital stay for a mild case of pneumonia is $9,763, according to Peterson-KFF analysis (pneumonia is commonly associated with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus). The median total cost balloons to $88,114 for the most severe cases that require more than four days of ventilator support. Seven million hospitalizations for patients with mild cases would cost more than $68 billion. If 17% of those patients required ventilator support, as was the case in one Chinese study, the cost of hospitalizations alone could add up to a staggering $161 billion, and that’s before the cost of other health complications related to the virus is accounted for.
Crucial quote: “Anything that slows the rate of the virus is the best thing you can do for the economy, even if by conventional measures it’s bad for the economy,” University of Chicago economist Austan Goolsbee told the New York Times.
Key background: In some ways, all of this discourse is more than a century old. A new paper released yesterday found that during the1918 flu pandemic—the closest historical analogue for the current coronavirus outbreak—cities that intervened earlier and more aggressively to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing and isolation of cases suffered no greater economic damage than those that didn’t. “On the contrary,” the authors write, “cities that intervened earlier and more aggressively experience a relative increase in real economic activity after the pandemic.” Seattle, Oakland, Omaha, and Los Angeles, for instance, implemented stronger containment measures than Pittsburgh, Nashville, and Philadelphia and all saw a much larger surge in job growth after the crisis was over in 1920.
Tangent: Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick suggested earlier this week that grandparents might be willing to die to preserve the economy for their grandchildren. “No one reached out to me and said, ‘as a senior citizen, are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” he said. “And if that’s the exchange, I’m all in.” His and Trump’s comments sparked a backlash among progressives on social media on Tuesday, when the hashtag #NotDying4WallStreet trended on Twitter as users voiced their fears of the pandemic, and of the government’s response to it. “I’ll let Wall Street flat line before my grandma does,” wrote one Twitter user.
– Sarah Hansen, Forbes Staff
As Wealthy Depart For Second Homes, Class Tensions Come To Surface In Coronavirus Crisis
Topline: As New York City’s coronavirus cases exploded in recent weeks, residents fleeing to second homes have come under intense scrutiny and push-back, prompting officials in multiple states to create highway checkpoints screening for New Yorkers and a national travel advisory for the entire Tri-state area, highlighting the dramatic roles class and wealth will play in the pandemic.
- With over 56,000 coronavirus cases in New York, privileged New Yorkers with secondary homes are fleeing the City with massive effect on vacation home communities: the population of Southampton has gone from 60,000 a few weeks ago to 100,000 and rental prices in Hudson Valley rocketed from $4,000 to $18,000 per month—posing a threat to small-town hospitals that are ill-equipped to handle caring for high numbers of coronavirus patients.
- In wealthy New England island communities like Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and Block Island that are heavy with secondary homes and short on hospital infrastructure, officials are going so far as to cancel all hotel, Airbnb and VRBO reservations while stationing state troopers and the National Guard to maintain flow on islands and, in the case of Rhode Island, instating 14 day mandatory quarantine on all people traveling to stay in the state from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut.
- As outrage has grown at the privileged fleeing the city while middle and working classes remain confined in New York City apartments, there’s been social media clapback at ostentatious displays of wealth in isolation: Geffen Records and Dreamworks Billionaire David Geffen ultimately deleted his Instagram of his $570 million megayacht captioned: “Sunset last night..isolated in the Grenadines avoiding the virus. I’m hoping everybody is staying safe” after it sparked outrage on social media.
- New York City’s poorer boroughs are hit hardest by coronavirus: Brooklyn and Queens, where median income is $56,015 and $64,987, respectively, remain the epicenter of COVID-19, compared to Manhattan with average income of $82,459, which has been less permeated by the virus and is home to many of Manhattan’s wealthiest enclaves—and those most likely to have residents with second homes elsewhere.
- On Saturday, President Trump said he was considering quarantining parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, then, backed down and issued a domestic travel advisory for the tristate area that discourages residents of these states from non-essential domestic travel after “very intensive discussions” at the White House on Saturday night, said Dr. Anthony Fauci on CNN today: “The better way to do this would be an advisory as opposed to a very strict quarantine, and the President agreed.”
- “Due to our very limited health care infrastructure, please do not visit us now,” reads a travel advisory from Lake Superior’s Cook County in Michigan, exemplifying vacation towns’ plea to travelers and second home owners across the country to stay away.
Background: Coronavirus cases in the United States have skyrocketed to 124,000, with deaths doubling from 1,000 to 2,046 in two days. Since those with COVID-19 can be asymptomatic for days, their presence in remote communities may be deadly, as they can spread the virus and wreak havoc on rural hospitals. The clash between wealthy and poor, also creates state-versus-state hostility, as federal support is limited and essential to states overcoming coronavirus.
– Alexandra Sternlicht, Forbes Staff, Under 30
Moody’s Downgrades South Africa To Junk
Credit ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded South Africa to junk status on day 2 of the country’s nationwide lockdown.
President Cyril Ramaphosa’s economic reform plans have been slowed by the coronavirus pandemic. The downgrade adds salt to injury for South Africa as it currently struggles with a recession it slipped into in early March.
“The unprecedented deterioration in the global economic outlook caused by the rapid spread of the coronavirus outbreak will further exacerbate South Africa’s challenges” said Moody’s.
Download issues of Forbes Africa
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa April 2020 - 30 Under 30 R50.00
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa March 2020 R50.00
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa February 2020 R50.00
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa December 2019/ January 2020 R50.00
- Single Digital Issue: Forbes Africa November 2019 R50.00
Subscribe to Forbes Africa
Here’s How Much It Could Cost If We Stop Social Distancing
Steve Forbes On The Promising Breakthroughs For Covid-19 Treatments. And President Cuomo? | Forbes
Virologist Answers Your Coronavirus Questions | Ask The Expert | Forbes
5 Tips For SMEs To Counter The Covid-19 Crisis
ClassPass And The Fitness Industry Brace For The Pandemic | Forbes
- Cover Story4 weeks ago
Africa’s 50 Most Powerful Women
- Featured4 weeks ago
Why Big Tech Is Heading To Africa
- Video3 weeks ago
Clara Foods’ Arturo Elizondo Is Creating Egg Proteins To Replace The Need For Poultry | Forbes
- Technology4 weeks ago
‘Robots Will Curate Our Best Futures’
- Entrepreneurs4 weeks ago
How Ryan’s YouTube Playdate Created An Accidental (Eight-Year-Old) Millionaire
- Brand Voice4 weeks ago
Here’s how Mariam Kane-Garcia is leading the way at Total South Africa
- Health3 weeks ago
Here’s The Worst Places To Travel Because Of The COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak
- Entertainment3 weeks ago
DJ Zinhle: The ‘Lazy Kid’ Who Achieved Platinum Success