Oscars 2022: Why the Behind-the-Scenes Production Was Historic

The production team behind The Oscars this year was the first-ever all-Black team to take on the job. This was not only historic for the award show, it was an active step to help correct the racial bias The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has been criticized for in the past. The "Oscars So White" controversy has some solutions in the works.

Sunday night's production team was led by Will Packer, who spoke about the experience with his local newspaper The Tampa Bay Times. Packer – a native of St. Petersburg, Florida – executive produced Straight Outta Compton, which was one of the biggest movies that the Oscars snubbed in 2017. He was at the forefront of the "Oscars So White" campaign, and he has clearly been triumphant in some capacity as he is now helping to correct that issue. Packer explained that he had actually been asked to executive produce the Oscars before, but he did not accept until this year.

"I finally realized that as busy as I am there would never be a 'perfect' time and there is growth in the uncomfortable. I felt like this year there was an opportunity to really make my mark and have my presence be felt on an iconic show," he said. Packer was interviewed shortly before the live show itself, so he did not comment retrospectively on any of the night's big moments, but he still had some insight on what his team signified for the Academy and the future.

Asked about improvements in the Academy's "diversity issue," Packer said: "It has definitely improved and having someone like myself at the helm of Hollywood's biggest night shows that. But make no mistake, as an industry we were so far behind that we still have a long way to go."

"I'm someone who always believes 'I can show you better than I can tell you,'" Packer continued. "I'm proud of ours being the first all-Black team but I don't feel the need to talk about it inordinately. I'd rather show the world what we can do and then after the fact we can talk about how great the result was that this particular team produced. There is no doubt our skill sets and perspectives are allowing us to create a show that will be different than that of our predecessors. Representation, inclusion, diversity, they all matter. The right people are seeing what we're doing and taking notice. But I'd rather revel in the results after the fact."

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There have been many criticisms leveled at the Oscars 2022 from many angles, including the formatting changes made in an attempt to shorten the runtime. The Times points out that among the tragedies of Sunday night's show is the fact that Packer's team and their achievements were somewhat overshadowed by all the controversy.