Photographs courtesy of DEADLINE.COM

Directed by Korean filmmaker Bong Joon Ho, Parasite has made film history by becoming the first “foreign language film” to win the Oscar for best picture. This achievement has received a lot of attention from film critics and movie executives, as The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has rarely nominated foreign-made films for this category. In the 92 years The Academy has held the Oscars, 11 “foreign-language films” have been nominated for best picture, a fact that director Bong Joon Ho pointed out during an acceptance speech.

As he claimed the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, the director delivered a brief acceptance speech that slammed Hollywood’s lack of attention. In his native language, the director stated that once the Academy overcomes the “one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles” they would be “introduced to so many more amazing films.” Given the waning support and viewership the award show has seen in recent years, it seems that the Academy might be changing its tune.

This pointed critique comes on the heels of a Twitter campaign that lambasted the Academy’s lack of diversity. Founded back in 2014 by activist April Reign, the #OscarsSoWhite Twitter campaign became a viral sensation that saw people of underrepresented identities call out the Academy’s lack of diversity in membership and nominations. As of 2020, the campaign has spurred the Oscars to slightly alter their membership, but that change seems insignificant given their continued actions. Parasite’s big win may be a sign of a changing attitude, but it is hard to say where the Oscars are going.

Given this sudden turn-around and the award shows dwindling viewership, it seems the Oscars needed Bong Joon Ho more than he needed them.