The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is partnering with Southern California Public Radio’s LAist Studios to release The Academy Museum Podcast - a new multi-season audio series that examines the myriad stories of our cinematic history inspired by the museum’s galleries. Jacqueline Stewart, Chief Artistic and Programming Officer of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures and a MacArthur Fellow, will host the series.
The inaugural season of this podcast, “And the Oscar® Goes To…,” premieres on Friday, March 25. This 10-episode season goes behind-the-scenes of touchstone Academy Awards® ceremonies, probing key social and cultural moments that impacted film artists as well as film fans over the years. Subsequent episodes will launch weekly.
Episodes include revelatory interviews and in-depth conversations with Oscar® winners, film artists, industry leaders, activists, journalists, and scholars, as well as archival audio and other exclusive content that will only be accessible through the podcast. Guests include Halle Berry, Scott Feinberg, Dave Karger, Gregory Nava, Kimberly Peirce, and Bruce Vilanch, among others. Listeners can find the series on the Academy Museum and KPCC websites, as well as on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and other podcast platforms.
“The Academy Museum Podcast will significantly expand the reach of the incredible exhibitions and programs that the museum is presenting both on our campus in Los Angeles and via our virtual programming. Our podcast will allow us to take deeper dives into the multitude of stories about how films are made, how the film industry has evolved, and the impact of cinema on our lives,” said Stewart.
“LAist Studios is thrilled to partner with the Academy Museum—the most spectacular new movie museum in the United States—to bring the stories of our hometown industry to our listeners,” said Herb Scannell, CEO and President of Southern California Public Radio. “The Academy Museum Podcast offers unprecedented access to iconic and important movie moments.”
The first episode for this season, “2002: This Door Has Been Opened,” revisits the historic night when Halle Berry became the first Black woman to win the Academy Award® for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance in Monster’s Ball (2001). Her emotional speech closed out a night that was marked by a celebration of Black excellence: Sidney Poitier received a lifetime achievement award and Denzel Washington won the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in Training Day (2001). But while the night seemed to signal a historic shift, Berry now calls her historic win “one of my biggest heartbreaks.” Berry reveals to Stewart how the night felt from her perspective and the ways in which the win impacted her career.
Future episodes include:
- “1940: Cinema's Best Year?” - This episode will explore the bevy of iconic films released in 1939—Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Wizard of Oz, Stagecoach, The Women, and more—and look at the double-edged experience of Hattie McDaniel on the night she became the first Black Oscar® winner for Gone with the Wind.
- “1951: It’s Going to be a Bumpy Night” - This ceremony celebrated two films that captured the complexities of show business and its impact on women: All About Eveand Sunset Boulevard.
- “1953: Broadcasting the Oscars” - The episode will look at the history of broadcasting the Oscars®, from radio to television, the rituals fans have created around the broadcast, and a discussion of the future of presenting the Academy Awards in the age of social media.
- “1954: The Brave One(s)” - This episode will examine the long history of blacklisting in Hollywood, looking at the treatment of writers including Walter Bernstein and the Academy's posthumous recognition of Dalton Trumbo in 1993.
- “1973: Marlon Brando Cannot Accept This Very Generous Award” - This episode will revisit the speech actor Sacheen Littlefeather delivered on Marlon Brando’s behalf to explore Native American representation in cinema and controversies about using the Oscars stage as a platform for activism.
- “1999: For Your Consideration” - This episode will look at how campaigning changed the Oscars game at the turn of the century and the long history of campaigning dating back to Louis B. Mayer.
- “2000: Boys Don’t Cry” - This episode will discuss LGBTQ+ representation in media, the complex issue of straight actors playing trans and gay characters, actors who come out, and actors who change gender identities.
- “2015: Oscars So White” - This episode will explore the evolution of this issue, the ways the Academy continues to respond, and what this meant for the show's producers.
- “2019: Muchas Gracias, Mexico” - This episode will look at the success of Mexican film artists at the Oscars?Alfonso Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Guillermo del Toro, and Emmanuel Lubezki and why US Latinx filmmakers and films are far less prevalent in the industry overall.