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Ariana DeBose celebrates being a ‘queer woman of color’ as she wins Oscar

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Ariana DeBose (Chris Pizzello/AP) (AP)

West Side Story star Ariana DeBose spoke of her pride in being an “openly queer woman of color” when she won the Oscar for best supporting actress.

The star, 31, picked up her gong dressed in red Valentino pants and a crop top and said her win was proof that “dreams do come true”.

DeBose won the Oscar for her performance as Anita in the classic musical, 60 years after her predecessor in the role, Rita Moreno, won the statuette herself.

Ariana DeBose picks up her gong from Daniel Kaluuya (Chris Pizzello/AP) (AP)

Ariana DeBose picks up her gong from Daniel Kaluuya (Chris Pizzello/AP) (AP)

DeBose added, “Now you see why Anita says I want to be in America because even in this tired world we live in, dreams do come true and that’s an encouraging thing right now.”

About the production, she added: “It was the summer of my life and I am the most privileged and grateful to have spent it with all of you.”

“OMG, thank you Steven Spielberg, now you’re stuck with me.”

The actress also paid tribute to Moreno, saying she “paved the way for tons of Anitas like me.”

Concluding his speech, DeBose added: “Imagine this little girl in the back seat of a white Ford Focus.

“Look into her eyes, you see an openly queer woman of color, an Afro-Latina, who found her strength in life through art.

“And that is what we are here to celebrate.

“So for anyone who has ever questioned their identity or finds themselves living in the gray spaces…I promise you this, there is indeed a place for us.”

Eight Oscars were presented in a prerecorded segment of the show, which will be edited into the final broadcast.

Dune put together four gongs, for sound, editing, production design, and score for composer Hans Zimmer.


Zimmer celebrated his victory from Amsterdam, where he is on tour.

He shared a photo on Twitter of himself in a bathrobe with his statue and wrote: “It’s 2am in Amsterdam and my daughter @zoezimmer woke me up to go to the hotel bar. Wow!!”

The Long Goodbye, starring Riz Ahmed, won Best Live Action Short, while The Windshield Wiper won Best Animated Short and The Queen Of Basketball won Best Documentary Short.

The Eyes Of Tammy Faye won the Oscar for makeup and hair.

Tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams opened the Oscars by presenting a performance of Beyonce’s nominated song Be Alive from the film about her father, King Richard, which she performed from a tennis court in Compton.

She was flanked by dancers and an orchestra, all dressed the color of tennis balls.

Hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall kicked off the ceremony with Sykes joking that the ceremony was “where movie lovers come together and watch television” while Schumer added that the Academy had “hired three women as hostesses because it’s cheaper than hiring a man.

She added that she was “representing obnoxious white women who call the police when you get too loud.”

Hall also addressed the choice to move eight categories to a pre-recorded segment, saying it was “a controversial and difficult decision, but I think we’ve moved on,” as the lights flashed onstage.

The Oscars are taking place at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, where Benedict Cumberbatch, Olivia Colman and Sir Kenneth Branagh are among the nominees.

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