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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Scam artists impersonate MacKenzie Scott, Simone Biles ditches Nike for Athleta, and Chloé Zhao makes history at the Oscars. Have a great Monday.
– And the winner is. Last night brought us an unusual Oscars ceremony, with nominees scattered at tables at a train station, jokes eschewed for biographical fun facts, and an anticlimactic closing award. But there was an upside to the ceremony—one that could even be considered unusual, too, given the Oscars’ history awarding female filmmakers.
Chloé Zhao took home the best director award for her best picture-winning film Nomadland, making her the first woman of color and just the second woman to ever win the directing award in 93 years of Oscar history. She competed against Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell in the category, marking the first time two women have been nominated for best director in the same year. It’s worth noting, too, that Zhao’s win is the first time the directing award has gone to a woman for a movie about a woman (in this case, the character played by best actress winner Frances McDormand); the only other female best director winner was Kathryn Bigelow for the male-driven Iraq War drama The Hurt Locker.
The win cements Zhao’s status as one of the most in-demand directors in Hollywood; her next major project is a big-budget Marvel movie. Wearing her signature braids and a pair of sneakers, Zhao quoted a classic Chinese poem in her acceptance speech that translates to “people at birth are inherently good.” (Her speech, however, was censored in China.)
There were a few other highlights from the night. Ann Roth won the costume design award for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom—and at 89, is the oldest woman to win an Academy Award and the second-oldest person to do so (the record-holder has her beat by just over 90 days). Yuh-Jung Youn, 73, stole the show with her acceptance speech for her best supporting actress win for her role in Minari. “Mommy worked so hard,” she said, addressing her two sons who “made me go out and work.” Between those two awards and McDormand’s win, the Academy chose to honor older women throughout the night (notable when you consider the average age of a best actress winner: 36).
Mia Neal and Jamika Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom win in best makeup and hairstyling made them the first Black women to win the award. And Regina King started off the night on a high note, acting as host (although her film One Night in Miami was also nominated) and easing us into the nontraditional ceremony and acknowledging the pain of the past year.
It’s a bit ironic that Zhao triumphed in the category that has most eluded female filmmakers in a year when most of us couldn’t see her work in theaters. But the good news is, there’s still time to check it out—on Hulu for now, and for years to come.
The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe.
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
- Scam artists. After MacKenzie Scott started giving away billions, scammers quickly popped up. Mimicking her unusual method of reaching out to organizations without much warning or bureaucracy, they've been able to scam individuals out of thousands of dollars. New York Times
- Scathing dissent. Last week, the Supreme Court effectively reinstated juvenile life sentences without parole in a 6-3 decision written by Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a very critical dissent, addressing directly the defendant in the original case, Brett Jones, who was sentenced to life in prison as a teenager: "Despite the Court’s decision today, what he does in life matters." Slate
- Athleta opportunity. Star gymnast Simone Biles is leaving behind her deal with Nike for a partnership with Athleta, the Gap Inc. activewear brand that largely caters to women. Biles joins track and field star Allyson Felix, the first athlete to sign a major Athleta deal. Wall Street Journal
- Who tells your story. The rape allegations against Blake Bailey, the handpicked biographer of Philip Roth, shed some light on another issue: how misogyny gets cemented in our culture. Bailey denies the allegations, but his book, in hindsight, analyzes Roth with a worldview that penalizes the women in Roth's life. Writes Monica Hesse, the biography shows what happens "when like-minded dudes are allowed to be one another’s gatekeepers, and the gatekeepers of broader culture, when faults are allowed to go unexamined, and so they instead spread." Washington Post
MOVERS AND SHAKERS: JAB will reportedly hire L'Oréal exec Lubomira Rochet; she will serve on the boards of several JAB portfolio companies. Market research platform Suzy hired Nielsen's Amy YaWen Chiu as director of research strategy. Agency Huge promoted Kim Cortese to managing director of production.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
- NFT for a cause. Model Emily Ratajkowski has written recently about her struggle to own her own image, criticizing men who have hurt her and yet profited from her likeness. In a new way of fighting back against that experience, Ratajkowski minted a nonfungible token, or NFT, called Buying Myself Back: A Model for Redistribution. New York Times
- KKW to SKKN. The cosmetics giant Coty Inc., led by CEO Sue Nabi, is narrowing its focus on Covergirl to its eight top performing sub-brands. The company is also working with Kim Kardashian West on a skincare line called SKKN—eschewing the KKW beauty trademark for "all the reasons you can imagine," says Nabi. (Kardashian West is in the middle of a divorce from Kanye West). Fortune
- Diaper duty. Consumer goods prices are set to increase soon, say Kimberly-Clark and Procter & Gamble, and one affected product will be diapers. Rising diaper prices will hurt low-income families; one in three families say they struggled to afford diapers before the pandemic. CNN
ON MY RADAR
The pantsuit designed for working from home Fortune
The inside story behind the parallel lives of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton Fortune
There's room for everyone in the church of Brandi Carlile BuzzFeed
"I stopped looking for my own fights—I just fought on behalf of other people."
-Zhang Weili, China’s most famous mixed martial arts fighter. She defended, but lost, her UFC title on Saturday.
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