The 92nd Academy Awards kicked off at 8 PM ET / 5 PM PT on Sunday, February 9, 2020. To start the awards show, Janelle Monae gave a stunning, breathtaking opening performance that has both fans and celebrities alike raving about it!
Alongside Billy Porter, the singer-songwriter opened the awards ceremony with a show-stopping number. And her performance wasn’t the only showstopping moment the rapper has experienced at the 2020 Oscars. Janelle Monae arrived in a gorgeous silver gown that was so heavy that it required four people to help her walk, and the handmade Ralph Lauren Collection gown reportedly took 600 hours to complete as it is embroidered with 170,000 crystals.
Here’s what everyone is saying about the 2020 Oscars Opening Performance:
Celebrities Praise Her Performance
Actress Reese Witherspoon tweeted a message of support following the opening performance, saying that Janelle Monae’s performance was “Incredible.”
During the opening performance, actress Brie Larson was seen dancing along to the music. The moment when Janelle Monae approached Larson and the two simultaneously moved to the track brought rave reviews from fans on Twitter. Larson’s enthusiasm for Janelle Monae’s performance was evident, and fans are here for it.
And in turn, Janelle Monae gave a nod to female directors. In her performance, she said “We celebrate all the women who directed phenomenal films.” Her acknowledgment alluded to the lack of female directors nominated at the 92nd Academy Awards.
A Historical Performance
Janelle Monae’s performance is being praised for its landmark representation of historically marginalized groups. The Oscars, which have had many controversial moments in its past, is making a push to cultivate a more inclusive and diverse pool of nominees and representatives.
Notably, the Academy Awards went without a host in 2019 after comedian Kevin Hart was originally named as host, but soon after resigned after past tweets of his containing homophobic sentiments surfaced and caused an intense backlash. Because of the controversy in 2019, the 92nd Academy Awards are also going without a host, making 2020 the seventh year in Oscars history that the ceremony does not have an official host.
The Oscars has also faced backlash by the social media campaign #OscarsSoWhite, which aims to have more performers and artists of color nominated for Academy Awards. Janelle Monae’s performance as the opening act for the 2020 Oscars is a tribute to the strides, however small, that the Academy Awards have made towards becoming more inclusive. As one Twitter user said, “Just think about how not too long ago we never would have heard a woman on the Oscars state say she is a black queer woman and then to celebrate the women directors not honored. I mean @JanelleMonae – how amazing.”
During her performance, Janelle Monae experienced a wardrobe malfunction when one of her tuxedo shirt buttons came undone as she walked onto the stage, which she then corrected before continuing on with her performance. Cosmopolitan reported fan reactions to the moment, including, “I have related to nothing on TV so much in my entire life as Janelle Monáe’s undone chest button.”