19 Oscars Facts That Sound Fake, But Are Shockingly True

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The Oscars are widely considered to be the most prestigious of film awards. Winning a gold-plated statuette is one of the highest honors a creative could wish for.

Two employees standing in front of shelves full of Oscar statuettes

Despite the Academy’s influence, its track record is far from perfect. The Oscars have an odd history plagued by exclusivity, strange mishaps, and questionable choices.

A row of Oscar trophies on a shelf

Here are 19 wild facts about the Oscars that most people don’t know.


The shocking Best Picture mixup of 2017 happened because one person was (allegedly) on Twitter.

The cast and crew of Moonlight on stage at the Academy Awards


Sammy Davis Jr. was also given an incorrect envelope in 1964.

Sammy Davis Jr crouching on stage with a microphone


The LA Times forced the Academy to start using envelopes.

A pair of hands holding white envelopes for Best Picture and Best Actress awards


As of 1950, Oscar winners don’t really own their statues.

A photo of a golden Oscars statue


An actor had to sell his Oscar to pay for his wife’s health care.

Harold Russell smiling and holding his luggage at an airport


It took 81 years for a woman to win the Best Director award.

Kathryn Bigelow speaking at an awards reception


It took 77 years for a non-white filmmaker to win the Best Director award.

Ang Lee kissing his Oscars statuette


A Black filmmaker has never won Best Director.

Spike Lee looking at something off camera


The Academy took 50 years to apologize to Sacheen Littlefeather for mistreating her

Sacheen Littlefeather speaking on stage


The first Black Oscar winner was treated poorly despite her accomplishments.

Hattie McDaniel holding a statuette


Adrien Brody kissing Halle Berry was not staged (or consensual).

Adrien Brody attempting to kiss Halle Berry on stage


Roman Polanski won Best Director in 2003… decades after being exposed for his pedophilic behavior.

Roman Polanski holding a microphone


The #OscarsSoWhite campaign took off in 2015… only for the following year to be just as white.

Workers placing an Oscars statue on a red carpet


The first Black Oscars host was Sammy Davis Jr., but it wasn’t a solo gig.

A portrait of Sammy Davis Jr smiling


Whoopi Goldberg was the first woman AND the first Black person to host the Oscars entirely on their own.

Whoopi Goldberg smiling


The year 2000 was a complete disaster for the Oscars before the ceremony even began.

A golden statue at the 72nd Academy Awards


In 1962, Rita Moreno became the first Hispanic woman to win an Oscar.

Rita Moreno holding an Oscar


Ariana DeBose is the second Hispanic woman to win an acting Oscar…and it was for the same exact role as Rita Moreno.

Ariana DeBose kissing an Oscars statuette


Parasite was the first foreign language film ever to win Best Picture.

Bong Joon-ho speaking at a press conference

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